Wow. This has been a crazy week and the response from the community has been awe inspiring and, for us at least, quite overwhelming! Over 46,000 views of the videos alone! We had never expected Project Aura to receive this kind of response. Now to clear of some things we noticed in the comments.
Why don’t you have front and rear lights in the video?
The reason being that we simply did not want to distract from the focus of the video, Project Aura.
Are you saying that Project Aura is all I need to keep me safe?
No. In fact in Pennsylvania, you are required by law to have a front headlamp and rear reflector, though it varies from state to state. Project Aura is merely an additional safety system that helps expand the visual presence of riders, not a replacement for front and rear blinkies (which ALL of you should have already!).
What about reflectors or reflective patches or clothing?
No doubt reflectors are the cheapest form of safety that riders can have and we encourage cyclists to always, always have them on their bicycles. However, especially with reflective clothing, it requires a change or alteration in the behavior of the rider. They also are only effective in the narrow swath of reflected light. We observed amongst inexperienced riders, they preferred not to be bothered by wearing reflective bands or other products or even wearing lighter clothes at night. How could we address this lack of motivation of young riders? What about the “bike experience” is constant among bike riders? The bike itself. And that is what we wanted to capitalize on with Project Aura: making the bicycle respond to the rider.
Why a hub generator instead of batteries?
We chose to integrate a hub generator as it simplified the job of the rider: just pedal and the lights turn on. This aspect of minimal required rider input is what we were trying to achieve and by having the hub dynamo, we felt it was appropriate. The hub dynamo allowed us to eliminate the need for batteries. Yes, LED’s are efficient enough for such worries to be negated (though not totally) and will be considered for later prototype. Again, the hub dynamo automates the “turn-on” process that many inexperienced riders neglect to do.
Was he wearing a helmet?!
Yes, he was.