More visibility for bicyclists is generally good. Cars are required to have working front & rear lights as well as turn signals. Bicyclists are not flying down the road as fast as cars, but I think such lights are also important for them or their human-powered vehicles. Front and rear lights are required in a lot of places these days, but turn signals certainly aren’t, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen such lights in real life.
Well, new “Zackees” (no affiliation) may be a great bicycling turn signal option for some of you. Zackees are bicycling gloves that include LED turn signals in them. They have been developed by Zach Vorhies and Murat Ozkan.
Image Credit: Zackees
As Lloyd Alter of TreeHugger notes, “Cyclists should signal their intentions, and if these gloves encourage their wearer to do so, in a form that drivers are going to see and understand, that is a good thing.” While I have biked for transportation for over a decade and taken my fair share of turns without signaling, I do think it is much more polite and safer to indicate to others on the road when you are planning to turn, and in which direction. In some places, it’s also the law.
The beautiful thing about these LED turn signal gloves is that they are more intuitive and, of course, more visible than the standard bicyclist turn signals, which Lloyd notes were “derived from hand signals designed for drivers.”
The lights within the gloves indicate the direction you are turning. Depending on how you hold your hand, they can alert oncoming and/or following traffic to your directional intentions.
Image Credit: Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0
Image Credit: Zackees
I’ve never used bicycling gloves — I bike like a Dutch person, not Lance Armstrong — but I do like these turn signal gloves. For anyone who likes using gloves anyway, I think these should be a sure buy. For myself, I’ll have to think about it more — I don’t currently do much night bicycling, or much bicycling at all, as I walk almost everywhere in my current location.
Zackees is currently raising funding on Kickstarter. The project has shot way past its $35,000 target, but I’m sure more money could be useful if you want to back the product and get some party goods in return. If you’re not yet ready to jump over to the Kickstarter page, here’s a bit more information from there that could sway you:
“Those domed metal studs? That’s the activation switch. Smooth and shiny nickel-plated steel.” Image & caption credit: Zackees
What makes these turn signal gloves so great?
- High Quality Textiles. We wanted to create the best possible glove that would compete against the top glove makers. Therefore we added comfortable leather palms, an absorbent towel around the thumb, retro-reflective trim and breathable spandex throughout.
- Washable. The turn signal electronics are protected with a water proof coating, allowing you to wash your gloves like other delicate clothing.
- Super bright LEDs. How can they be so bright when using such a small battery? Efficiency. Our LEDs are some of the most efficient on the market at converting power into light. A light sensor boosts light output during the day!
- Super long battery life. We hate changing batteries as much as you do. That’s why our gloves get 3-6 months of daily active use (when used with four minutes of active blinking a day).
- Metal contact switch. We spent months making the perfect activation switch between the thumb and index finger. We found that metal rivets are by far the most natural to use and the sound they make is strangely addicting.
- Durability. We use premium thread, ultra-flex wire and we encase the electronics in a durable polymer. These gloves are designed tough.
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