Design & Tech Roundup: Rolling Deep
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Now that Back to the Future Day has come and gone, rolling on the ground should be obsolete as a mode of transportation. While flying cars are still in the works, we did see Hendo introduce the first real hoverboard last year. Still, wheels remain an extremely popular way to get around, as this collection of projects focused on bikes and their like demonstrates.
There’s something wonderful about hearing a designer talk about the little details they're most proud of in a product — and Emily Brooke’s enthusiasm is contagious when she discusses the magnetic bracket design and ip7-certified waterproofing on her new Blaze Burner bike light. The Burner is a rear-facing complement to Blaze’s first bike light (which came to life through Kickstarter in 2012) and features a green laser to alert drivers to a cyclist’s presence. Since then, it’s not only making backers’ two-wheeled adventures safer but it's also been incorporated into London’s Santander shared bikes.
Speaking of bike shares, the wonderfully named Air Donkey offers a digitally connected lock kit to turn your spare bike into a rentable ride. It’s unsurprising that this vision for a community run network of shared cycles springs from the velotopia that is Copenhagen — hopefully it can help make riding more accessible in less bike-friendly locales, too!
The Me-Mover Fit, from another Danish team, looks beyond pedals for forward momentum, turning a stepper machine into a sleek, wheeled vehicle. They launched the first version through Kickstarter last year and have updated this second generation machine using feedback and hacks from backers. Always exciting to see collaboration between designers and users in action.
The folks at Flykly have also returned to Kickstarter to build on their past success. The Smart Ped shrinks down the powered bike wheel they introduced in their 2013 campaign to create a ridiculously fun-looking kick scooter. The responsive electric hub gives you more power out of each push while preserving the playful simplicity of cruising on a scooter.
Smartphones can make navigating city streets a breeze, but staring at your phone while riding a bike is a dangerous drag. BeeLine and Haize take different aesthetic paths to solving this problem, presenting simple turn-by-turn instructions on elegant, handlebar-mounted displays that minimize distractions and keep you focused on where you're going. Clearly an idea whose time has come.
Once you’ve found your perfect ride and tricked it out to your liking, make sure it stays yours with this innovative lock that uses a fingerprint as a key. The Grasp smart lock is part of the latest batch of projects from leading hardware accelerator Hax, which has provided mentorship to dozens of great Kickstarter projects.
Always looking for better ways to get from point A to point B? Check out our "Ride With It" tag to keep up with projects offering a fresh take on bikes and beyond!