FutureFive New Zealand - Consumer technology news & reviews from the future
Smarter cycling with Vodafone's latest innovation
Fri, 9th Sep 2016
FYI, this story is more than a year old

Data from the New Zealand Ministry of Transport indicates that cyclists have a higher risk of crashing after dark, especially during peak traffic.

So, Vodafone has Introduced the ‘Smart Jacket', an innovative mobile technology that's designed to keep cyclists safer at night.

Champion BMX rider Sarah Walker and comedian Jon Bridges have also joined in on the demonstration in the hopes of promoting safer cycling.

With the Smart Jacket, cyclists can connect their smart phone via a pre-programmed app with their desired travel route. Once that's done, the jacket then picks up route information, and communicates directions to the cyclist and surrounding traffic.

Upon approaching street crossings, intersections and lights, the Smart Jacket's sleeves light up to indicate to the cyclist which way they need to turn.

Walker says concepts like the Smart Jacket could boost road safety for cyclists.

“There's a lot happening to improve road and cycle safety and encourage people to ride more, and I think the Smart Jacket is a great idea to add to the mix,” she says.

“There is this perceived idea that cycling is dangerous – so anything that can help take away those barriers is a good thing,” explains Walker.

The Smart Jacket prototype is a collab between Vodafone Netherlands and a technology company called Magic Bullet.

Matt Williams, consumer director at Vodafone, says mobile technology innovations like Smart Jacket says technology is changing everything.

“From the way we educate our children, to how we manage our health and wellbeing,” says Williams.

“The potential to connect things for good is limitless, and Smart Jacket is a great example of what's possible in a world where everything is connected,” Matt said.

Cycling advocate and pro comedian, Jon Bridges, says anything that boosts safety and improves communication between cars and bikes is a good thing.

“If we could ease that perception that cycling is dangerous then we will all be better off, and one good way is to have things that make it safer – like cool fun jackets that hook up to your phone,” he says.

“It is exciting to know that innovations like the Smart Jacket could soon become a part of our daily lives.