They say that where there's smoke there's fire, but when it comes to electrical systems, by the time the smoke is detected, it's often too late. To raise the alarm early, a team of researchers from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology and Karlsruhe University of Applied Sciences have developed hybrid sensors that detect gases given off by overheated plastic cables before too much damage can occur.
According to a study conducted by the UK's Transport Research Laboratory, 79 percent of bicycle-vs-car accidents occurred when drivers maneuvered into the path of cyclists travelling at speed. In order to help lower that number, University of Brighton product design student Emily Brooke created the Blaze Laserlight as a final-year project. The bicycle headlight is designed to let motorists know that a bike is approaching, by laser-projecting an image of a bicycle onto the road approximately six meters (20 ft) in front of the rider. Four years and one successful Kickstarter campaign later, the Laserlight is now available to buyers in North America. We recently had a chance to try it out for ourselves.
It may look like a bit of disco bling for the equestrian set, but the Tail Lights Rider Safety System has a very serious purpose. According to Michigan-based Tail Lights, thousands of horses and riders are injured and killed each year in collisions, so it's come up with an LED lighting safety system for horses.
One of the main reasons that many cyclists give for not wearing a helmet is the fact that helmets take up so much room when they're being carried in a bag. As a result, we've seen a number of companies developing folding helmets. One of the latest, UK-based Headkayse, claims that its helmet not only folds down small, but that it's also more comfortable and perhaps even safer than a regular helmet.
Takeoffs and landings account for 66 percent of fatal air accidents, but current air traffic control systems are designed mainly to monitor aircraft that are in mid-flight. To help fill this gap, ALTACAS Technology has developed its Aerial, Landing, & Takeoff Aircraft Crash Avoidance System (ALTACAS). Designed to be retrofitted to current aircraft and as a supplement to existing next-generation air traffic control and crash avoidance systems, it uses lasers and microprocessors to monitor runways and flight paths during takeoffs and landings.
We've been watching the wearable ski-racing airbag develop over the past several years, and while the technology has come to fruition, it has yet to really catch on in the sport it was designed for. If the key is to offer more options, we take another step forward with the all-new Spine VPD 2.0 Airbag Vest from Swedish safety accessories manufacturer POC and French startup In&Motion. For its part, Dainese, designer of the first wearable airbag, will get its tech on the back of World Cup racers this season.
Pepper sprays and self-defense know-how are useful tools in protecting against violent attacks. But in the view of startup Roar, women shouldn't be made to change their lifestyles in order to feel safe. It has developed a discreet device that can be worn as a piece of jewelry and alert loved ones to their whereabouts when trouble arises.
Personal music players have liberated us from the home hi-fi system and made music mobile. But there is a downside, particularly for younger listeners. According to the World Health Organization, over a billion young music lovers risk hearing loss by exposing themselves to unsafe volume levels when grooving on the move or having a good time at noisy bars and sporting events. The Aegis Pro headphones from 16-year-old Kingsley Cheng are designed to ensure that audio output never strays above a safe level, while also promising optimum sonic quality.
We've seen cycling gloves and jackets
with built-in turn indicators before, although the former still
requires you to take your hands off the bars to signal, while the latter
requires you to wear a jacket even when it's warm out. The Elecwear
cycling vest, however, attempts to address both of those issues – plus
it lets you listen to music, earphones-free.
Visibility is a crucial part of cyclist safety, but it's also important that their turning intentions are relayed to other road users. Hand signals were the only option in this area for a long time, but in recent years we've seen technology, such as the Zackees cycling gloves, designed to improve the visibility of turn signals at night. The Lumenus jacket on display at Interbike takes a similar approach, but goes a step further by letting cyclists be guided by the light.