Riding at night can can be problematic, so when new products surface that can help make night riding safer, we're all ears.

Chinese researchers in the Department of Industrial Design at Sichuan University have developed a new concept called the Lumigrid. This is a device that attaches to your handlebars which projects an LED grid on the ground in your path, to help you detect uneven road surfaces. Potholes, drains, cracks... basically major obstructions can be identified.

lumigrid

The Lumigrid is able to display the LED grid in 3 modes depending on your style of riding: Regular mode (5.5" x 7.1"), High Speed (5.5" x 10.2") and Team (11.8" x 7.9"). The way it works is that on a flat even surface, the grid will look intact and smooth, but when it travels over anything unfamiliar, the grid lines will deform to the shape of that obstruction.

Lumigrid science

At first glance, we were excited by this idea and we can certainly see the potential for an excellent solution. However, we do have a couple of concerns - firstly, that using the Limigrid effectively would probably mean quite a lot of time spent with our eyes on the ground.

lumigrid2

Secondly, we assume that we'd need to use the Lumigrid in conjunction with a normal bike light to ensure visibility - and it's possible this might even overpower the grid, anyway.

lumigrid device

The Lumigrid received a Red Dot design award in 2012, but it is currently still in the development phase - and we do think there's a bit more work to be done before these gizmos hit the market, potentially later in the year.

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