Bikelops is a new type of bike mount that converts your phone into a bike light. Bikelops has a unique design that concentrates the light from the phone's LED into a round, bright beam that lights the road ahead of you.
Avoid the hassle of buying, maintaining and charging or replacing the batteries on your bike headlight. Never again worry about your bike light being stolen. With Bikelops you instantly have a bike light when you need it. Just pull out your phone, snap it into the Bikelops mount, turn on your LED light and you are ready to ride in the dark.
Bikelops is easy to use and takes just seconds to install on any bike. Simply attach the standard bike mount to your handlebars. The customized Bikelops phone cradle then clips securely into the bike mount. Your phone slides into the cradle and snaps safely into place. All the phone buttons and controls are available while your phone is in the Bikelops, allowing you to listen to music, use your favorite biking app, receive calls, etc.
When you need a headlight, simply turn on the phone LED (flashlight). The unique Bikelops design transforms your phone's LED into a bicycle headlight.
We are launching the Bikelops product with support for three of the most popular phone models: the iPhone 5, 5S and 6. If we exceed our funding goal we plan on supporting more popular phone models. Please help us decide which models to add to our product line. Back us now at the $1 level (or better yet, pick up a cool t-shirt!) and submit a comment about what phone you would like to see added. If your phone model is added during the campaign you can change your pledge and get your very own Bikelops.
Remove the Bikelops cradle from the bike mount and your phone is now a true flashlight with a round beam with a bright spot in the center. Use it when you walk the dog, go hiking, for camping, reading a menu in a dark restaurant (discretely, without shining your LED light in everyone's face) or any other time you need some extra enlightenment.
Bikelops uses a specially designed aluminum reflector to focus the light from the phone LED flash and concentrate it into a round, bright beam.
Shown above is a comparison of the light beam between the iPhone 6 LED and an iPhone 6 in a Bikelops mount. These images are of a plain white board. The iPhone was positioned 16 inches from the white board. Notice that the Bikelops beam is round and has a bright spot in the middle, similar to a bike headlight or flashlight. This is a big improvement over the plain iPhone LED which is more spread out and much less bright in the middle. We also measured the light intensity at the beam center, halfway to the beam edge and at the beam edge. The light measurements are shown in the table below.
In the chart below, we compare the cross section of the light beam images. Note that the Bikelops cross section is much brighter in the center and tails off quickly, indicating a bright, round beam of light.
When we introduce people to Bikelops they often ask "how bright is the light?"
Obviously, the Bikelops cannot convert your phone LED into an extremely high end bicycle headlight. But it does significantly improve the brightness of the light from your phone's LED by concentrating it into a narrow, circular and bright beam. How much brighter does it make the light? As shown above, for the iPhone 6, in the center of the beam, the light is about 7 times brighter than if you just use your phone LED flash without the Bikelops mount. This allows you to see more of the road ahead of you when you are biking.
To demonstrate that improvement in a real biking situation, shown above is a picture taken at night, comparing an iPhone 6 mounted directly on a bike vs mounted with a Bikelops. Notice that the Bikelops mount creates a much brighter beam of light, especially directly ahead of the bike. Bikelops successfully lights the road at a distance of 20-30 feet while the iPhone LED only lights the area directly below the bike. The orange and yellow cones in the picture are 10 and 20 feet from the front of the bike, while the white fence is about 35 feet from the front of the bike.
Alexis (one of the creators of Bikelops) was playing tennis one evening last summer a couple miles from his house and ended up playing until dusk, so by the time he was biking home it was dark. The headlight on his bike was out of battery (again!), so he tried to prop his phone up in his bike mount and use it as a headlight. It worked OK, but the light was too spread out and not bright enough on the road ahead. As he biked home he started thinking about how to use his phone as a bike light and the idea of Bikelops was born.
Over the next several months he started developing and testing the idea in his spare time. He experimented with several types of optical configurations using different lenses and reflectors. Several versions of prototypes followed while he improved and tweaked the design.
After many weeks of experimenting and testing different ideas, he arrived at the final optical design for Bikelops. Bikelops uses a special aluminum reflector designed to collect the light from the phone's LED light and focus it into a bright, circular beam.
The Bikelops design requires that the reflector be flush against the phone and centered over the phone's LED, so the next step was to design the Bikelops cradle that incorporates the reflector and positions the phone properly. We decided to start by designing the Bikelops cradle for the iPhone 5, 5s and the newly released iPhone 6. Alex joined the Bikelops team and started worked on these designs. Several different versions were designed and printed using a 3D printer. Here are some pictures of the early 3D printed Bikelops prototypes.
After several design modifications, we have arrived at the final version of Bikelops for iPhone 5, 5S and 6. The next step is to go into full production and bring Bikelops to the biking world.
We're looking to raise $10,000 to cover the high costs of tooling the injection molded phone cradle of the Bikelops. As each phone model requires a custom fitted phone cradle, we are launching our project with three of the most popular phone models: the iPhone 6 and the iPhone 5 and 5S. We would love to support more phone models and are optimistic that we can expand our product line if we surpass our funding goal. We hope to offer stretch goals of other popular phone models and perhaps other Bikelops colors (please send us your suggestions).
- July 2014: Initial ideas and tests
- August - September 2014: designed optical component (complete)
- October 2014: First prototypes (complete)
- November 2014: Final prototype (complete)
- November 2014: Finalized production plan (complete)
- December 2014**: Initiate injection mold tooling for Bikelops production
- January 2015: Initial Bikelops samples received, quality checks
- January - February 2015: Full production run
- February 2015 - Assembly, quality assurance, packaging
- February 2015: Shipping and order fulfillment.
- Weight: 2.4 ounces (68 grams)
- Construction Material: ABS
- Installation tools required: none
- Fits standard round handlebars 20-32 mm in diameter
- Batteries required: none (uses phone LED/battery)
- Phone models currently supported: iPhone 5, 5S, 6
- Lifetime warranty: if you have any problems or the Bikelops breaks during normal use, we'll send you a new one.
1. What's with the name? What does Bikelops mean?
After we designed the product, we noticed that from the back it looks a bit like a cyclops, with a single big eye at the top. So we picked the name Bikelops. It's pronounced [bahy-klops], just like cyclops but with a B.
2. What about iPhone 4, 5C, 6 Plus, Android or other phones?
Due to the precise Bikelops design, each phone model requires a custom fitted cradle. We decided to launch the product for three of the most popular phone models: the iPhone 5, 5S and 6. If we surpass our funding goal we intend to support other popular phone models. Please back us at the $1 level (or grab a cool Bikelops t-shirt!) and submit a comment with the phone model you would like to see supported by Bikelops. The most popular phone could be our first stretch goal.
3. I backed you at the $XX level, how will you know what phone model Bikelops I want?
At the end of the campaign we will send out a survey that will let our backers specify which phone model(s) of Bikelops they want. If you change your mind (perhaps you upgrade your phone or get a new iPhone 6 for Christmas?) in the month or so after the campaign ends (but before we ship)you can let us know via email and we will update your phone selection.
4. What about my phone battery? Won't it drain too quickly?
Most people are worried that the battery on their phone will drain quickly if they leave the LED light on for a prolonged period of time. We performed a test in which we turned on only the iPhone 6 LED (GPS and Bluetooth off, display off for most of the time) and the iPhone 6 used about 8-9% of the battery for every hour that the LED alone was on.
In a more realistic test, we started our favorite biking app Strava (which uses the GPS) and the LED light and also turned on the screen a number of times during a 30 minute bike ride. In this case, with the LED and GPS on and the display being used occasionally, the iPhone 6 used about 10% of the battery in 30 minutes.
5. Can Bikelops be used with a phone case?
Unfortunately, no. The reflector design of Bikelops requires that the Bikelops cradle must be flush up against the phone, so your phone must be removed from it's case before using Bikelops.
6. What about other colors?
We could definitely manufacture Bikelops in other colors or even color combinations. We decided to start with standard black but are open to suggestions. Please back us at the $1 level (or grab a cool Bikelops t-shirt) and submit a comment with your preferred Bikelops color. If we get enough requests we just might add it as an option.
7. Can I send Bikelops to someone as a Christmas/Holiday present?
Unfortunately Bikelops will not ship until early next year, but we will provide all backers with a link where they can send an email card (or a printable postcard) to notify the receiver that they will be receiving Bikelops as a gift.
Thanks to everyone who has backed us and has helped bring Bikelops to the world.
Special thanks to Eva Kjelsberg for designing the awesome Bikelops logo.
Thanks to all family and friends who supported the Bikelops project over the past several months.
Risks and challenges
We realize that with all product design projects there are risks in manufacturing delays, supply issues and quality control issues. In order to reduce these risks we have already identified our manufacturers and suppliers for all the parts of the Bikelops product. We have confirmed the timing and believe we can meet our delivery dates.
We will update our backer community on a continuous basis of our progress and will let them know of any unforeseen issues that may cause a delay in delivering on time.
We are considering using a fulfillment service to handle the processing and shipping of our orders. We will update our backers on this issue as well.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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