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Turn Signal Belt/Patch

Reimagining Bicycle Safety Gear | Projects

  • For most people, bicycle gear is either fashionable or functional. The Turn Signal Patch aimed to bridge this gap, helping people be safe on a bicycle with something that people could wear while at the same time being fashionable.

    Coming into the studio, both team members knew how to do programing, but first they had to learn how to sew. This was made by making a magnetic wristband, to keep sewing needles from scattering. Sometime while doing this, they settled on the idea of making blinking arrows. These could be put on a shirt and used as turn signals for bikers. In two days they made a working model of an arrow.

    However, something went wrong. When the arrow was turned on, the lights only lit up in a weak red color. The fault was eventually traced to a faulty soldering connection somewhere, but there were over 30 soldering connections, and it was impossible to tell where the fault was. They ended up having to resolder all the connections. After that, a replica was made to go on the other side, and a pouch was made to hold both arrows. ,That ended up having its own problems: somehow, a pair of pliers got sewn into the fabric. After 45 minutes of trying to untangle the pliers, the team decided to just cut the wires and try again.

    After that, the lights were quickly programmed to work with 2 switches, and it ended up working. Had we had more time, we might have sewn it into a shirt, but for now, it worked, and that's more then most projects here can say.

  • The Patch consisted of two arrows. The arrows consisted of LED strips placed under fabric, covered by clear buttons that diffused the light. The result was that when the LED strips were powered, an arrow would light up.  There were 2 arrows, and both of them were connected to switches that turned them on and off. The result was two flashing turn signals that could be turned on and off at will. If you had the ability to program you would be able to change the colors if you wanted.