Week 18 - invention, intellectual property, and income (May 27)
Develop a plan for dissemination of your final project.
Neil's cri de coeur "ready, fire, aim" or do something and then figure out what you did.
My invention addresses the pain point for cyclists of speeding cars not giving enough space when driving past especially when cycling along country lanes.
The project is a proof of concept which demonstrates an approaching object changes the display pattern on an array of LEDs. There will have to be a number of iterations in order to turn the proof of concept into a successful product:
- increase the size of LED array, currently 100x40mm. It would be great to have an array a cyclist could wear on their back without feeling it was there and have maximum visibility to car drivers.
- increase the detection distance from 4m to 40m. The HC-SR04 ultrasonic distance device being used is low cost ($2.99) but limited in range. A better alternative is the LIDAR-Lite laser range module with up to 40m range but at a price point of $89. This would make the overall product expensive certainly for the average cyclists.
- increase the brightness of the LEDs. One of the disadvantages of Charlieplexing the LED array is the effective brightness of the array as the LEDs are being cycled on and off. An alternative approach would be conventional multiplexing or using Adafruit NeoPixels.
- improve the casing and packaging so it looks like a desirable safety product they would want to wear while cycling.
- conform to regulations, in the UK bike lights must conform to The Road Vehicles Lighting (Amendment) Regulations 2005
As I've used and extended Fab Academy designs and code it's not appropriate to reserve all rights for the design, instead I will look to use a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC-SA 4.0)
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
The final project is not yet a viable product, but can be developed into one. Similar rear bike light products have been funded with successfull Kickstarter campaigns - Velgo Commuter X4 rear bike light and LucidBrake active brake light.
Crowdfunding like Kickstarter or Indiegogo is a good approach for taking this project forward. Active backers and supporters create a buzz about the product and spread and amplify the message to a wider like minded audience increasing the addressable market and sales.