Cycling as a form of transportation is a growing alternative to fossil-fuel powered vehicles. As cycling grows more popular each year, cities like Long Beach are implementing initiatives to develop their infrastructure in order to accommodate this exploding demographic. While these changes often address accessibility issues for cyclists, they do not necessarily make bicycle riding safer, and in some cases, give commuters a dangerous false sense of security. By interviewing various members of the Long Beach bicycle community, we were able to determine three main concerns: communication of a bicyclist’s intentions, increased visibility both day & night, and proper allocation of space when sharing the road.
By visiting various biomes within our city and with the help of university biologists, we identified several animals that have evolved attributes with the potential to solve these concerns - namely peacocks, ctenophores, and rodents. Using their unique traits, we designed VibriSee, a mountable bicycle accessory that sports flexible, illuminated whiskers. These luminescent tendrils provide the user with several opportunities. First, they exponentially increase visibility of the cyclists both day and night through a combination of both fluorescent bands and stripes of emitted light. Second, these four whiskers can change their configuration, allowing the cyclists to signal their intentions. Finally, VibriSee empowers the cyclist with the ability to indicate their spatial zone by flaring their whiskers and flashing warning colors.
VibriSee is more than just a solution, it has the potential to transform the world of commuting by empowering the average cyclist with solutions straight from nature.