Lucid Brake is a motion-sensing, ultra-bright BIKE BRAKE LIGHT that mounts anywhere, doubles as a safety beacon, is waterproof & light
First Production Run:
This Kickstarter Project is intended to fund Lucid Brake's first production run. The prototype is tried and true, we just need to get the cost per unit low enough so that we can put a Lucid Brake in the hands of all those who ride a bike or need a brake light!
Why LucidBrake is different, special and amazing:
Brake light/deceleration light – what’s the difference? Well, quite a bit. Most people are used to brake lights only coming on when they press a pedal or squeeze a handle, but LucidBrake is different. It is smart enough to know you are slowing down or stopping without it having to be wired up to anything. It senses inertial (motion) changes, then flashes brightly if it senses deceleration. LucidBrake knows the difference between bumps, rotations and true deceleration, so bumpy terrain and rotating helmets are no problem.
Doubles as an Awareness Beacon – during night time road tests, LucidBrake’s eight super bright LEDs could be seen flashing over half a mile away. LucidBrake will also stay on for a short while after every deceleration event such that the people behind you are truly alerted to your braking.
Mount it Anywhere –
* Flat back
* Mount on your set post, fender, jacket, backpack or helmet
* Self-adjusting to its any mounting angle
* Readjusts instantly to hills, bumps and rotations.
* Not just for bikes, this can be mounted ANYWHERE you need a brake light.
No moving parts –
* No on-off switch
* Smart enough to know (parked/in motion/braking)
* Encased in a conformal coating to protect the parts and prevent corrosion
Insta-mount – since we were not bound to a fixed platform to mount LucidBrake, we knew that the only secure way to adhere it to the rider was to have an adhesive-based fastener that was reliable and also weather proof. We consulted with the experts at 3-M company and discovered their dual-lock fasteners. These fasteners are so strong, they are used to hold metal siding up on buildings – in both extremely hot or extremely cold weather.
* The conformal coating is completely waterproof
* See FAQs for question about battery clips and why corrosion is not an issue
Two-speed braking – everyone knows there is a difference between putting on your brakes and slamming on your brakes. LucidBrake has been designed to indicate these two quite different deceleration events. It will flash and then stay on for several seconds if you drastically reduce speed or stop suddenly.
We thought "way outside the box" during the design of LucidBrake. Avid bikers insisted on low total mass, so instead of encasing the board in a plastic case, subject to water retention, internal fogging, and other problems, we encased the board in a conformal coating at the suggestion of engineers at Dow Corning. This super tough coating is used for solar energy projects, where long term exposure to ultraviolet light, intense heat, and intense cold can take their toll.
LucidBrake has no moving parts, not even an on/off switch, so it can be dunked in a lake and it keeps on flashing. The board senses accelerations in all three axes, so it's great at determining its orientation relative to gravity. We got rid of the on/off switch by using this feature to determine if the bike is parked somewhere, rather than being in motion. After a short while, if the orientation is constant, the power is shut down and the board enters a deep sleep for several seconds - an eternity in the time frame of the on-board computer. When it wakes up, a quick check is made to determine if the orientation has changed, and if not it quickly returns to the deep sleep state. Testing and calculations show the batteries should last more than two years at a minimum when parked in the garage.
The ultra bright, but very tiny surface mount LEDs were chosen after discussions with the manufacturer. These LEDs are state of the art, and they are representative of the very latest LED technology, capable of putting out a lot more lumens than bigger LEDs of just a few years back. Be careful when it first lights up as the brightness can catch you off guard if you aim it at your face!
The most important feature of LucidBrake is the patent pending algorithm that makes this product a true deceleration light, and not just a brake light. Without going into all the details, the 3-axis accelerometer allows the computer to ignore rotations and filter out bumps while detecting true accelerations and decelerations. No other device on the market works this way.
Light weight & Long battery life - Extremely light weight, long battery life, lake-proof, easy to use, and tough... those are what avid bikers told us they wanted, so we thought "way outside the box" to make it so!
The manufacturing plan is all lined up.
Our fulfillment plans are set and our team is in place. We have Colorado circuit board manufacturers at the ready. These are the companies who have worked with us to develop our prototypes. They love the product and are anxiously awaiting the word when we tell them to make thousands and thousands of these items. It will take 4-5 weeks to print and populate the large run of the circuit boards.
Once we have the circuit boards populated, they will move to our facility in Parker Colorado. There we will program them, waterproof coat them, tag them with their registration number, assemble them with their fasteners, batteries and instructions in their boxes. Then we will ship out the LucidBrakes along with any other amenities included in their bonus package. Our collective team has dozens of years product development and fulfillment experience. No job is too big or too small for them! In fact, they love a challenge. They don't feel they'll even be slightly challenged until the demand for LucidBrake reaches 50,000/month. Even then, they claim they're ready!
The LucidBrake team is already strong with John & EJ at the helm. Both she, John and other members of the team have a strong systems development background. Systemizing the production, fulfillment/distribution of LucidBrakes has been well planned, and should be well executed.
There are two ways you can help!
First, back us!
We have several backer levels for you to choose from. From the $5 level to the $2500 level – everything helps! We have an early backer bonus for the first 50 people who choose the LucidBrake early backer option.
Second, share this with everyone who rides!
If you know anyone else who rides a bike in traffic or in a group, please share LucidBrake with them.
Follow us on Twitter : http://twitter.com/LucidBrake
Like us on Facebook: http://facebook.com/LucidBrake
Below are pictures of some of our amazing backer bonuses - because you are amazing LucidBrake backers.Thank you!
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Lucid Brake is a new technology that it is a deceleration indicator, not a traditional brake light. The behavior is slightly different although both types of devices can prevent accidents.
Another challenge that we face is communicating to bicyclists that this is more than just a conventional tail light. This is also a deceleration indicator that will signal to other bicycles, cars or people around that you are slowing down or stopping suddenly.
Supply and demand is always challenging. However, we just contacted the major electronics supplier in our area who took our BOM (bill of materials) running it through a program to check availability - and all of our parts are available in sufficient quantities such that we can proceed with production without any cause for worry.
LucidBrake is about 23 grams. Two AAA batteries are also about 23 grams. That's very light weight, and that's why when attached to the back of a helmet people say they can't even tell it's there.
A standard business card is 3 1/2 inches edge to edge. A LucidBrake is 3 inches edge to edge, so a LucidBrake can't hide a business card.
We've noticed an interesting optical illusion. When daylight is starting to wane and LucidBrake appears very bright the octagon array of LEDs tend to look MUCH bigger than something smaller than a business card. But that's okay, visibility is good!
I first invented a hand-held gadget called LucidLights, which we plan to bring to market later on. It's loads of fun, but the day it hit me that the same circuitry could be modified slightly to act as a deceleration light, I realized this could save lives and prevent some of the many thousands of bicycle related injuries that occur every year. All of our focus since has been on getting LucidBrake going.
While brainstorming LucidBrake's design goals people challenged me with "impossible" goals, such as being able to use it on the back of a bicycle helmet instead of just on a bicycle. Top end cyclists we talked with wanted it to be very low mass, maybe even as light as the batteries that power it. Others asked if it could turn itself on and off automatically, and so on.
I like a good challenge, so I'm proud to announce that all these goals were met!
Our first prototype had a plastic housing. You can still see this prototype in action in a video on a NASA sponsored design contest site. (The link is on our web site at http://LucidBrake.com) However, as I started doing some intense "thinking outside of the box" the first thing to go was the plastic housing.
Experts I talked with suggested a tough "conformal coating" to embed the circuitry, making it tough, water-proof, fog-proof, lighter weight, easy to clean, and providing excellent access to the batteries. I liked that idea, but what about the aesthetics of its appearance?
As it turned out, it looks and feels much better than I had thought it might. The octagon (stop sign shaped) board and its parts are all mostly shiny black, and when embedded in the optically clear embedding material it looks sleek, sexy, and reminiscent of a tiny stealth aircraft. Top end bicycles follow this same design philosophy, with lots of extraneous parts and material removed and what's left being the ultimate in functionality, with minimum mass, while drawing your attention to the aesthetically pleasing state-of-the-art high-tech details. Wherever we show off our new LucidBrake prototype, people are attracted to it and they always want to know more about it.
On a technical note, the embedding material we've chosen is very tough but very optically clear, so the red LEDs shine through very brightly. This same material is used to embed photovoltaics for major solar energy projects that require letting light through while not fading due to ultra-violet sunlight effects and other weathering stresses.
Embedding LucidBrake in this way presented new design challenges. The next thing to go was the on/off switch. I invented a patentable circuit that powers down ALL of the circuitry except for a tiny trickle of current through a 1 Meg ohm resistor. When parked in the garage, tests show this deep sleep mode should allow the batteries to last for multiple years. Every few seconds a quick check is made of the 3-axis accelerometer to see if orientation relative to gravity has changed. If so, the LucidBrake automatically springs to life. When in operation and LucidBrake detects no changes to its orientation after a minute or so, it automatically puts itself back into the deep sleep mode.
The next design issue was how to best attach batteries. The solution was to use tin plated spring steel clips that are the only thing on the board not embedded in the special coating. Tin plating is used to prevent corrosion on metal equipment used in the food processing industry, so these battery clips should last a long time on LucidBrakes. The batteries are exposed to the air where they dry fast, are extremely easy to replace, and there's no battery compartment to accululate heat in the sunshine. (Hint: Radio Shack sells shiny black batteries with white lettering that look really, really cool on a LucidBrake.)
The remaining major challenge was how to attach the new LucidBrake to the back of a bicycle helmet as easily as to a bicycle. Conventional mechanical mounting clips are too complicated, and simply wouldn't work on a helmet. I wanted something new and better. And I found it.
People at 3M suggested taking a look at their Dual Lock fasteners. These fasteners are used to hold metal siding up on the sides of buildings in the toughest extremes of hot, cold, wet, and icy weather. They hold with great tenacity, yet items can be detached when you pull them apart the right way. These turned out to be perfect for LucidBrakes! (Look for more description of these fasteners in the next FAQ answer.)
One of the design goals was to be able to mount LucidBrake on a helmet, and conventional mounting solutions just wouldn't work for this.
Engineers at 3M convinced me to try their Dual Lock fasteners. I'm glad I did, as these are working perfectly.
Dual Lock fasteners are used to attach metal siding up on buildings in extremes of weather conditions. You peel off a backing, stick identical pads to clean, dry surfaces such as the perfectly flat back of a LucidBrake and your bicycle seat post, back of your helmet, or just about anywhere you want a deceleration light, press together and go. If you park where theft might be a concern, Dual Lock fasteners let you pull them apart so you can take LucidBrake with you. You can pull apart and press together thousands of times.
Each square inch of Dual Lock fastener pads have 400 tiny mushroom headed posts. When pressed together these posts interlock with amazing tenacity. In all our bike testing we've never had a LucidBrake fall off.
One concern is that someone might want to remove the pads from their equipment some time down the road. They can be removed with careful peeling starting at a corner. This does take some strong pulling. The adhesive 3M chose doesn't appear to leave any gummy residue at all, and we've never seen any damage to painted surfaces.
Yes you can. The Dual Lock fasteners make it easy to detach and reattach LucidBrake to your bicycle or other equipment as many times as desired.
There's no power switch on a LucidBrake. I created some patentable circuitry that reduces battery current when parked in the garage to a tiny trickle, actually less than the amount that goes through a 1 Meg ohm resistor. Calculations show the batteries should last multiple years sitting in the garage. Every few seconds the 3-axis accelerometer is checked to see if any change in orientation has occurred, and if so LucidBrake automatically springs back to life.
The batteries are easily accessed, with no plastic covers to lose, so if you take LucidBrake with you the batteries can be removed to prevent bright flashing red lights where you probably don't want them.
When applying for our provisional patent we searched for similar patents, and we did find one, by an overseas company. However, LucidBrake does extend the state of the art, and here's why. The other people's patent describes the use of only one axis of acceleration to detect braking, and they go out of their way to explain the behavior on hills and slopes based on the use of just one axis. The very last sentence of their patent is this.. 'That is why this invention is called “wireless brake light” instead of “wireless deceleration light'.
LucidBrake, on the other hand, is truly a deceleration light, and not just a brake light. The biggest difference is that I figured out a way to use all three axes of the accelerometer to eliminate most of the effects of rotations and bumps, while detecting any changes in acceleration or deceleration beyond that of the force of gravity. There's more to our provisional patent, but this shortened explanation is at the heart of the differences.
So, LucidBrake can be mounted on the back of a helmet! (Theirs won't work there as described in their patent.) As the user rotates their head, most of the rotation effect is ignored, yet when the bicycle decelerates it detects and signals it. Also, if the mounting angle of LucidBrake isn't perfect, due to the angle of the seat post on a bicycle for example, it's okay, and LucidBrake instantly adjusts to the new angle. Theirs does not cover this in their patent at all.
We've been experimenting with LucidBrakes in amazing and interesting places. There are new laws in some states, and in other countries, requiring brake lights on power assisted bicycles of all types, so this is an important potential market. We have been discussing this with manufacturers who say they want to talk with us as soon as we get a product up and running in the marketplace.
Several people have pointed out that motorized wheelchairs need brake and safety lights, and that these are involved in accidents with cars way too often. We believe LucidBrakes can help there too.
Long loads sticking out of vehicles, trailers of all types pulled behind vehicles, three-wheeled high-end road "trikes", horse-drawn carriages, multi-passenger bikes... these are all being explored as LucidBrake candidates.
We even have a vision of LucidBrakes showing up in Super Bowl ads on saddles, the tails of cows or Clydesdales, on Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer's other end, and so on, but that's another story for later <GGG>.
Kickstarter is really strict with a few of their rules, for some good reasons, so we need to play by their game. At first we had proposed some pledge levels such as a "picnic pack" where you could get two LucidBrakes at a certain pledge level, but Kickstarter said no. We were told we must put only one LucidBrake in any given pledge level, and that discounts for multiple units were not allowed. With a little research we found a good answer to this question that someone else on Kickstarter wrote...
"We've received a lot of emails on how to make multiple pledges, and Kickstarter has gotten back to us on how you can do this. You have two options:
1) You can email us through Kickstarter to ask about making multiple pledges. We'll add the pledge amounts together, and then you can make that pledge amount or upgrade your past pledge amount to the new total.
2) You can set up a second Kickstarter account linked to your same Amazon payment account and then make a second pledge."
Answer number 1 is probably the easiest one. Write to us to let us know your intent if this would work for you. Thanks!
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Pledge $25 or moreYou selected
Sport Pack includes a Sport Backpack combined with an aluminum Water Bottle. Proudly displaying the LucidBrake logo.Estimated delivery:Add $7 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $50 or moreYou selected
50 backers All gone!
Be one of the first 50 backers of LucidBrake and get yours for $50! Receive a LucidBrake, cleaning brush, 4 fasteners and batteries included.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
25 backers All gone!
We're adding a new "early backer" level since the first 50 went so fast! Be one of the next 25 backers of LucidBrake and get yours for $75! Receive a LucidBrake, cleaning brush, 4 fasteners and batteries included.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $75 or moreYou selected
A comfy stadium blanket, aluminum water bottle that attaches easily anywhere and ear buds for your listening pleasure on your bike rides. All proudly displaying the LucidBrake logo.Estimated delivery:Add $10 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $85 or moreYou selected
LucidBrake (batteries, 4 fasteners & cleaning brush included)Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $90 or moreYou selected
A Lucid Brake with the cleaning brush, fasteners and batteries COMBINED WITH the $25 package of the Sport Pack...Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $100 or moreYou selected
9 backers Limited (1 left of 10)
Receive a LucidBrake, cleaning brush, 4 fasteners and batteries included.Estimated delivery:Add $15 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $125 or moreYou selected
SAFETY PACK * LucidBrake (batteries / cleaning brush included) * LED Light up safety bracelet * Reflective StickersEstimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
Pledge $200 or moreYou selected
Family Friendly - Adventure Pack! Receive a LucidBrake, cleaning brush, 4 fasteners and batteries included. As well as a picnic stadium blanket, a water bottles, a sport backpack, cleaning brush and a LED light up safety bracelet. All proudly displaying the LucidBrake logo.Estimated delivery:Add $20 USD to ship outside the US
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