SEE.SENSE launch after successful Kickstarter campaign.
See.Sense is daylight-visible bicycle light, designed to increase cyclist visibility. Its intelligence means that it ‘knows’ when to flash faster and brighter to make the cyclist more visible, and it also means it can provide a very bright, daylight visible light with a long run time of more than 12 hours.
It is the first bike light to use advanced, patent-pending sensor technology to monitor the cyclist, their bicycle and their environment, to enable situational awareness and intelligence.
See.Sense can detect scenarios where a cyclist may be at a higher risk. For example, See.Sense can detect when a cyclist is at a road junction, filtering in urban traffic, on a roundabout, travelling in low light, such as under an overpass or in a road tunnel or approached by a car with headlights on.
When a cyclist encounters such a situation, See.Sense will increase its brightness and flash rate to make the cyclist more visible to other road users.
Light performance is usually a trade-off between high brightness, long runtime and compactness. Choose any two at the expense of the third. See.Sense. breaks this rule by using its power intelligently, enabling it to be bright when needed yet still have a long runtime in a small package.
To achieve these features, See.Sense utilises cutting edge sensor technology, covered in a fourteen-page patent application that is currently pending.
The See.Sense intelligent light was designed in response to a problem See.Sense founder Philip McAleese faced daily as a cycle commuter. He was living in Singapore at the time with his wife and family, working as a Director for a large multinational investment bank.
Over there, they have the concept called ‘kiasu‘, which is the idea of wanting to come first. It’s hard to describe – it’s not that Singaporeans are aggressive drivers, but they’re very assertive. If there’s a millimetre of space, somebody will dive into it. They think nothing of passing a cyclist and then immediately turning left into their path. That’s quite acceptable as they consider they have road position, because they’re there before you.
Philip became quite frustrated at how invisible cyclists can be to motorists, and having previously been hospitalised following one collision on his bike, started to seriously research what he could do. Looking into the stats he discovered that nearly 80% of accidents involving cyclists actually occur in urban areas, in daylight, at road junctions and roundabouts. He realised that most cycle lights are simply not bright to be seen at these times, and the ones that are have a very poor battery life, or require a heavy external battery pack that is not suitable for the regular commuter. He knew he needed something to give him road presence during the commuting peak times of dawn and dusk, when most bike lights are not effective.
The inspiration to create See.Sense happened during a commute home.
“I was looking at the smartphone I had on the handle bars. There was a lot of sensor technology on that device and I wondered could we use some of that to develop a light that’s bright when it needs to be and conserves energy when it doesn’t. It was really from there that I looked at the sensor technology that was in smartphones and integrated it into See.Sense to create the first intelligent bike light.”
Philip was able to draw on his background in electronic and software engineering to come up with his idea. Prior to working banking, Philip had graduated from the Queen’s University of Belfast with a Bachelor of Engineering (Electronic and Software Engineering). Following University, Philip had spent two years designing air traffic control simulators for National Air Traffic Services (the UK equivalent of the Federal Aviation Administration).
What started off as a personal quest to make something that was more convenient for him as a commuter, started to grow. Although he didn’t intent to create a product and bring it to the masses, the more he spoke to other cyclists, the more he realised that they shared the same problem and were looking for the same solution.
Copyrighted to Jonathon Harker @ BikeBiz