Here’s a project just waiting for someone to develop a motorcycle jacket version, shown here as a turn signal jacket for bicyclists, there isn’t any reason why this couldn’t be adapted to either a leather or textile jacket by some enterprising person or small company looking for an opportunity.
The jacket has sewn in directional indicators on the back which can be turned on individually to signal a turn or both at the same time for nighttime visibility.
The switches to turn on the signals as shown here might need rethinking to make activation easier, but the general idea is pretty interesting. The kit uses the LilyPad Arduino, a set of sewable electronic components from Leah Buechley, an Assistant Professor at the MIT Media Lab.
Sure, some riders might not want one, but a lot of others already wear bright orange or yellow safety vests and for those same folks, this would be a functional extension of the idea.
OK, who’s going to be the first person to sew one of these into their motorcycle jacket. If you do, send your photos in with details and we’ll put it up on The Kneeslider.
Thanks for the tip, Matt!
UPDATE: Just thinking about this a bit more and I know lots of you would say, “No way would I wear something like that!” but think a little longer and you’ll come up with lots of very subtle ways to implement the idea. For the black leather jacket crowd, sometimes you might have a narrow reflective stripe around your chest, why not turn that into a row of LEDS you could turn on without any flashing, just use it at night. Very low key but nice safety feature. Or think about some sport bike jackets with lots of graphics, add some lights within the design and again, just turn them on at night for extra visibility. The turn signal idea would work at night, too, maybe just on the jacket sleeve. Take the idea and run with it.