SIX: A gesture-controlled bike signal light
SIX: A gesture-controlled bike signal light
SIX: the first hand-signal controlled bikelight, designed for cyclists to drastically reduce the amount of street accidents. With style
SIX: the first hand-signal controlled bikelight, designed for cyclists to drastically reduce the amount of street accidents. With style Read more
Two of our teammates were struck by vehicles.
In both cases the car driver mentioned they were unaware the cyclist was turning despite their hand signalling.
SIX is simple; you gesture. It responds.
Nighttime riding is dangerous for several reasons, but two stand out as the most significant:
- Firstly, reduced visibility hampers communication between cyclists and drivers.
- Secondly, cyclists commonly suffer reduced confidence during night rides.
No matter how the factors are analyzed, just shy of 40% of fatal bike accidents occur when the sun is down (in Toronto, Canada).
SIX is a gesture-controlled bike signal light, and with it we aim to make your ride safer. It`s simple; One hand gesture. One response.
Having a signal light both increases visibility and road confidence when it matters. Having a pocket-sized unit, which pairs with any wearable watch, allows you to keep the light close and ensure it's never lost. With funding, SIX will support many wearable devices; come with a gesture-recognition clip that sits on the seam of a jacket or shirt; and promises to notify when there's low battery, or when it falls out of range (or perhaps off of a bike). SIX may be the last light you ever buy.
Minimum Core Features Included
With pre-order of a robust prototype, all of the units shipped will include at least the following characteristics.
- (Gesture Control:) Pairs with Android Wear or Myo
- (Swipe Control:) Signals Left or right with swipe of phone's touch screen
- (Open Source Code) Source code access online (C and Java)
- (Open Source Design) Industrial Design asset access
- Lithium Ion Battery
- (Robust 3d print) One Water Resistant and Shock Resistant SIX unit
- USB Charging cable for charging and programming
- (Classic / Blue Steel) Change between Classic and Blue Steel mode for signalling display.
- (Brake Signal) A medium-to-fast deceleration triggers a stop light.
All Stretch Features:
Additional stretch goals, outlined far down the page, will result in investment in the quality of units delivered to *all backers* over $175. Here are all our stretch goals in one list:
- (Molded Plastic) Upgraded Plastic Unit designed with cooperation of an Engineering Design firm, (potentially MistyWest in Vancouver.)
- (Enhanced Gesture Control:) Also Pairs with Apple, Pebble, Bragi.
- (Included Clip) Gesture Control Clip included with all purchases
- (Open Source Code) Source code access online
- (Open Source Design) Industrial Design asset access Lithium Ion Battery USB Charging cable for charging and programming
- (Branding) A designed box, manual, and other swag, included with all orders.
- (Additional LED Control) Addition of Knight Rider mode, other modes, enhanced Brightness control, among other display features
- (Battery / Connection Monitor) SIX Detects when the battery is low, or the unit is far, and notifies the rider
- (Auto-Start mode) SIX notices when you start riding, and automatically powers up
- (LED API) Easily configure your own gesture control signalling system with a simple to use API!
Making a hardware product is not easy. Every backer matters, even if it is just one dollar!
This year, we've finished our first prototype, which pairs with some Android watches and Thalmic Lab's Myo arm band. It shines passively with vibrant LEDs, and shows left/right arrows when the corresponding gestures are completed. In addition, our app detects when the user is slowing down, and automatically shines a break light.
There are even more features we would like to add! But, alas,we really need help bringing this project to life. The eventual unit price will be less expensive, around $100 USD, but for now each backer is a part funder in our development process; a portion of every purchase goes into helping us save for feature development. In fact, the more units we sell, the more we may invest in the product, and the better the units we can ship. If you back us, even with a dollar, you will literally be helping get not just the SIX, but our whole team, off the ground.
Here is a cost budget of some select features:
Some Core Features
Minimum Run: ($8,000) The minimum we would like to do is get a run of the products to 50 lucky people. At our current stage, the product is 3D printed, and can be considered a "developer edition", with a code base and schematics for our prototype unlocked online. The team actively uses SIX and would like to share the experience of gesture control with some initial users!
Tooling and Testing: ($15,000) Given the budget, we would like to have waterproof plastic molds designed, tested, and the unit stress tested under a variety of conditions.
Legal Fees: ($10,000) We have invented a proprietary gesture recognition algorithm, so we want to seek strong patents to protect our Intellectual Property for potential investors. In addition, given our budget, we would like to publish the gesture recognition approach, (which is good) in an academic journal.
Fun Signal Patterns: ($5,000) We would like to include fun patterns, such as Knight Rider themed modes, classic "car signal" modes, in addition to "blue steel". In addition, we want to make these modes alterable.
Front, Back, Left, and Right units: ($14,000) For the very safe, we would like to offer the chance to pair four units to the app; a front-left, front-right, rear-left, and rear-right unit. Thus, gestures will trigger a very clear signal to drivers: this vehicle is part of the road and it is signalling its intent.
Open API: ($20,000) We would like to have an open API, so that users can create their own vanity patterns. We can even share our app, so that other users wanting to use gesture control can access a solid example app which communicates with many devices.
Support for many wearable devices: ($15,000+) We would like to support Apple tech, Android wear, and even rarer hardware, like The Dash, by Bragi, Pebble watches, or the Myo by Thalmic labs.
User Support and Production: (variable) Most of all, we want to make sure we can fulfill all of our the orders! So as unit sales increase, and the complexity of fulfillment increases, we have made sure we have the capability to deliver a good product, but one that improves incrementally with each fundraising tier met:
Your donation will make you a partner in development, meaning 60% of your contribution will go towards creating a great product. The more we raise, the more of those features we can accomplish. Here's how great we plan on making SIX:
With $8,000 raised, we will create prototypes with a 3D printed, weather resistant case. This version will pair with Android devices. Even cooler is that there will be open sourcing on GitHub. We are calling this the Hacker Edition.
With $75,000 raised, we'll have the ability to consult with industrial designers, get tools made, and use sleek materials, a plastic waterproof case, and a rad design. This amount of support would also mean multiple signalling patterns and the capability for users to sync two units together (one secured to the front, the other to the back). We can tackle legal fees, and make sure to communicate effectively with investors; SIX will be established as a product, not just a one-off production run. For the team, we are dreaming of this after all our hard work this year. We will celebrate by defining a few additional custom pattern modes to be supported by the application.
With $150,000 raised, we will then be able to pair the bike lights with Apple Watch and as many other wearables as possible. We can do some solid testing. We will also incorporate high end features like notifications of low battery and connection loss, and increased battery life. We can start to fund support, and publish some of an API, allowing some control of the light patterning.
With $450,000 raised we will develop an original coin-sized gesture-controlled smart clip and mail them to all our prototype purchasers! This way, users without a smart watch can use gestures too! The light patterns can be majorly configurable on the app. Other features would include syncing four units to each corner of a bicycle/vehicle.
Developing 3D printed prototypes is not cheap. Until we distribute at least 1,000 units, each unit starting from zero is very difficult to ship. We have to consider paying the team, testing, and saving up for the development of tools! Our pledge amounts reflect these production costs so that at least 60% of your donation is put towards development costs once the campaign is finished.
We're currently operating out of our studio in Toronto, Canada. We also have two technical advisers helping us all the way from Vancouver, Vlad Lavrovsky and Oleha Riden.
What we've accomplished since the project's inception is create a beautiful, third prototype (seen in the photos above), refined our revenue model and budget plan, solidified our team to be as diverse and well-rounded as possible, and even appeared on Daily Planet!
We've also begun community outreach initiatives in Toronto, pictured below, to create buzz around SIX. With each event, we demoed improved versions of our prototype and asked the public for suggestions and opinions.
We believe in generating as much enthusiasm and interest as possible; that way we're able to cater the bike light's features to popular suggestions.
Our cards are in all the right places, but we're lacking the funds to move forward in development and research. This is why we need you!
Risks and challenges
Hardware projects are notoriously difficult due to the many long iterations that have to be completed during testing. We mitigate many of these difficulties by focusing on 3D printing during prototyping, releasing "old" iterations and prototypes as Open Source, and by distributing the 3D printed prototypes as final units. This agile process has helped us refine our product, secured our intellectual property, and allowed for extensive community feedback.
Intellectual property for our production unit, tooling, certification, and larger expenses threaten to slow the project. We are planning to do as much rapid development as possible when funding is received, such that the documents we file, and the tools we create, are based on a product that is already proven in practice with a wide user base.
Team cohesion is a typically large risk, as some of the original team members are volunteers. Lucky for the project, the Intellectual Property is owned by Pax Cultura Studios, a company that has invested considerable resources into the project and is ultimately committed to bringing the product to market. Pax has experience developing software and hardware prototypes for clients, and three of the project's members are Pax employees.
Budget margin and over run can typically be a project risk. The campaign has been designed so that minimum funding levels leave the project with a lower feature set--closer to a "Hacker Edition," which is less feature-rich than later models.
Our largest risk is traction. The team has a medium-term engagement strategy for the summer of 2016, which involves visiting many bike events and races, as well as hosting parties, contributing to the maker scene, and even conducting workshops. We hope by socializing with schools, cyclists, stores, and makers, we will connect with the many influencers we need for months to come.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)