Former Middlesex University student Michael Chen has won this year’s James Dyson Award after developing a product that could help save the lives of those who cycle.
Chen was inspired to develop his so-called Reactiv cycling jacket after taking a close look at the accelerometer technology used in the Nintendo Wii remote, which measures movement and tilt to complement its pointer functionality.
Chen’s Reactiv cycling jacket also uses an accelerometer to sense movement. The output signal from it is then used to control the colour of an array of Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) on the back of the jacket. When the cyclist is accelerating, they turn green, and when the cyclist is braking, they turn red.
The jacket also has amber LEDs in the arms which are activated by a tilt switch behind the elbow. These light up when the arm is lifted, indicating the cyclist is about to turn either right or left.
Michael Chen - the inventor of the Reactiv cycling jacket - prepares to make a turn
Chen said that Reactiv allows a cyclist to easily communicate their intentions to other travellers and could hopefully reduce the 20,000 incidents involving cyclists in London alone each year.