It looks like a regular bike light, but it’s aware of the situation and flashes vividly to command attention when you need it most. This technological marvel is called ‘See Sense’ and it takes cycle lighting technology to a whole new level. This doesn't mean you can stop paying attention to cars and pedestrians around you...but it does mean they are probably paying attention to you.
Despite technological advances for nearly every component of the bike from the humble inner tubes, to the latest carbon frame, to ANT+ cycle computers and power meters – the cycle light has remained fairly conventional. Most simply offer a few brightness levels or flash modes. See Sense integrates advanced sensor technology from the latest smart phones and uses it to monitor the cyclist, the bicycle and the environment. The result is a light that assesses what performance level is needed to make cyclists highly visible when they need it most.
See Sense is unique, as it determines when a cyclist is at a road junction, roundabout, filtering in traffic or cycling under shadowy underpasses. At night, it can also identify approaching car headlights. It reacts by flashing brighter and faster, improving the visibility of the cyclist to other road users.
Philip McAleese is the lead engineer for See Sense. He was hospitalized following a cycling accident and after years of cycle commuting, grew tired of hearing drivers say, “Sorry mate, I didn’t see you”. Dissatisfied with the performance of current commuter lights, he set out to design something better. Philip left a corporate career working as an IT Director in a multinational to focus exclusively on developing this light.
Philip says, “My dream was to create a light that was really attention grabbing, even in daylight. It had to be compact and convenient too. 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 you need it and still have a long runtime in a small package.”
Philip worked with hundreds of cyclists over two years to refine the product to what we see today. The cycle light launched on the crowd-funding website, Kickstarter on the 9th October, and successfully met its funding goal of £12,000 within only 8 days. There’s still time to buy See Sense on Kickstarter until the 8th November.