First things first. Happy New Year all you Commute by Bike Readers!
I’m not exactly one for making new year’s resolutions. Why not make resolve to do something differently any day of the year? Plus, most people don’t even make it to February with their resolutions. Maybe that’s because many resolutions are too big or too broad. Perhaps instead we should be resolving to make small, manageable changes all the time until they add up to those big changes you were hoping for all along.
There, that’s my philosophizing for the day. You’re welcome.
But it is a new year, and with the new year comes new ideas, new gadgets, and a lot of scribbled out 2013′s on personal checks, paperwork, and assignments. And I must admit, it’s always fun to review the year past and make predictions for the coming year. With that being said, let’s make some predictions and not reminisce or dwell on the past.
For one thing, it seems like 2014 will be bringing a new form of clothing to the world of cycling: electronic clothing. If you’re doing a bit of a double take right now, you’re not alone. At first glance, when I read the term “electronic clothing”, all I could think about were raves or maybe the flaming suits in The Hunger Games. Bike commuting didn’t immediately come to mind.
But perhaps it should have. For Zach Vorhies, electronic clothing has a pretty large functionality component. His latest idea, and one he is currently funding through Kickstarter, are the Zackees Turn Signal Gloves. According to the Kickstarter campaign, these are: “The safest and most technologically advanced pair of cycling gloves ever made. Period.”
Honestly, that’s a bold statement for such a simple idea: take a pair of cycling gloves and impregnate them with a turn signal, which serves to both indicate your intentions to other road users and increase your visibility. But honestly, it’s sometimes the simplest ideas that make the biggest impact. And I actually think these gloves are a pretty darn good idea.
The gloves look like a simple cycling glove with cutoff fingers, but the top of the gloves has a built-in light with an arrow that matches the direction you’d be turning with the hand you’d extent to indicate this. The gloves can be used with your hands on or off the handlebars. The activation switch is on the pointer finger and easily accessible with your thumb.
And they aren’t just marketing these gloves to cyclists but to runners and skateboarders, as well. The battery life sounds like it’s pretty decent, and there will also be a custom USB charger for a price upgrade.
The price point for the gloves is relatively high at the moment, running $69 for the standard glove and $99 for an ungraded version that has a better battery and the custom USB charger. But if you act quickly, you can get them at a slightly discounted price through the current Kickstarter campaign, which lasts four more days.
Really, I think this is a pretty neat idea, though the price is a little high, and I haven’t gotten my hands on a pair (pun intended) to try them out for myself. Apparently, other people think so too, as the project was fully funded on Kickstarter within days. Check out the video below to learn more.
What do you think? Would you use them? Would they make you safer?
Happy New Year & Happy Riding!