Linux and Arduino Processors Can Make Riding Safer

LED and Linux-powered cycling jacketThis micocontroller uses an Arduino chipLED and Linux-powered cycling jacketNeopixels
If you thought that only motorcycles were becoming loaded with high-tech electronics, it's time we showed you a very interesting project we believe the riding gear industry will soon adopt.
Still a DIY, independent project without a commercial name, the Linux-powered LED-equipped riding jacket is waiting to become a mass-produced item. The tutorial was published by Ben Everard on linuxvoice, and explains how to use a programmable Arduino processor and LED neopixels to enhance the visibility of a rider, be that a bicycle or motorcycle one.

The principle behind Everard's idea is as simple as it gets, but implementing it into actual clothes might benefit from input from experts in other fields. With a variety of microcontroller boards available for such a project, it's up to each manufacturer to choose which one to use.

The schematics are simple and easy to integrate even in more complex arrays. The present stage of development of Everard's idea only uses four neopixels and simple lighting patterns, but once this technology takes off, sky is the limit.

Smaller and smaller processors and electronics are easier to integrate with clothes

So far, Ben Everard's idea is in the prototype stage, so the stitching for conductors and electronic parts to his cycling jacket is not looking at its best. However, with microcontroller boards getting smaller and new conductive materials being developed, embedding complex wiring solutions in riding gear is only a matter of time.

Some believe that light-enabled riding gear will also reduce the number of SMIDSY crashes, but this may be only true for accidents that happen in low-light conditions. Those not looking out for bikers on the road will most likely not be "impressed."

Still, odds are that riding gear manufacturers will start to offer such options for their products. Everar's project can be powered by two CR2032 (BIOS) batteries or other small-footprint power packs, so the bulk added to a jacket is insignificant.

And with personal airbag also becoming increasingly popular, adding one more small controller will definitely not be cumbersome. Read more detailed and technical info in the attached PDF or by following the linuxvoice link.
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 Download: Arduino LED riding jacket project (PDF)


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