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SMART SPIN

Bicycle accessories get high-tech upgrades

In an effort to keep up with ever-evolving automobile tech, designers are debuting smart bike accessories that will keep cyclists safe and well-equipped as they traverse roads in close proximity to larger—and potentially now autonomous—vehicles. Check out the following accessories, which are designed to give cyclists everything they need to safely get to their destination.

PHILIP SIWEK’S QR CODED CYCLING JACKET

As autonomous vehicles increasingly populate roadways, Vancouver-based design student Philip Siwek is making sure cyclists keep up with the technology. Siwek developed a special jacket that helps self-driving vehicles “see” cyclists on the road to help avoid any potential accidents. The jacket is designed with strategically placed QR codes that allow a self-driving car to recognize there’s a cyclist on the road—and what’s more, be able to understand which part of the cyclist it’s “looking at” so the vehicle can gather a sense of context to better address the situation. The jacket’s innovative design won Siwek multiple prizes, including one at the IDEA International Design Conference in Chicago.

THE LUMOS MATRIX HELMET

The Lumos Matrix helmet was developed by avid bike rider and mechanical engineer Eu-wen Ding after he personally had too many close calls with drivers while biking. What makes this helmet stand out amidst other smart helmets is its lights, which are located at both the front and the back of the helmet. These lights are especially bright: they contain 1,000 lumens and power a beam that can be seen from 150 to 200 meters away. The lights also signal when the cyclist is turning with the help of a remote control that is attached to the bicycle, and the back lights flash red when the cyclist is braking. The Lumos Matrix helmet is rechargeable, and users can pair it with their Apple Watch to make operating the lights even easier.

TIMBUK2’S PARKER COMMUTER BAG

Timbuk2’s Parker Commuter Bag is ideal for urban dwellers who count their bicycles as their primary mode of transportation. The bag boasts a roster of features, including an ultra water resistant drop liner and magnetic compression straps, and it’s equipped with a water bottle pouch, an outer pocket for riders to easily access their phone, and a magnetic pocket that will keep keys and other small personal items securely stored. Not only is the bag convenient for shorter commutes, but it’s also a great weekender bag, as it is expandable and can fit all those last-minute trip essentials. This cycling companion retails for $219 and is available in Jet Black and Olivine colorways.