See.Sense ICON: Intelligent bike lights with innovative features

See.Sense ICON is a cycle light with a number of innovative features that you can access through your smartphone.

Husband and wife team Philip and Irene McAleese founded See.Sense, an award-winning cycling software and technology company, based in Northern Ireland. 

The new edition: See.Sense ICON

Having gained success with a Kickstarter campaign for their first edition of responsive bike lights, the couple decided to develop the concept further over the last five years, leading to See.Sense ICON.

The new edition of the bike light connects to a smartphone via Bluetooth, opening up a number of exciting new features.

Using integrated sensors, the lights can determine when the rider is going through a road junction, navigating a roundabout or moving through lanes of traffic, as well as other forms of smart recognition.

In all cases, the lights respond by shining brighter and blinking faster as a way to make the cyclist more visible, with the ultimate goal to create a safer cycling experience.

Boosting visibility according to sensors

Like the original See.Sense, the ICON head and tail lights each contain a reverse-biased LED for measuring ambient light levels, along with an accelerometer.

A microcontroller uses output from these sensors to determine factors such as cadence, uphill or downhill orientation, acceleration or braking, cornering lean, and yaw.

Using custom algorithms, it is able to match those readings up with ones that are associated with known risky traffic situations, so it can boost the rider's visibility accordingly.

Crash and theft alert

ICON will send you an alert if anything or anyone disturbs your bike, ideal for when you’re stopping for a coffee and want that extra reassurance that your bike is being watched.

ICON also monitors your environment to increase your safety. If it sense you have been in a crash, it will alert your trusted contact. Cyclists can however stop the message being sent, in the case of false alarms.

Smartphone features

Cyclists can wirelessly control flashing and brightness modes, check the lights' battery levels, set the lights to both turn on or off via the press of one of their power switches, or set them to automatically turn off after three minutes of the bike sitting still.

See Sense ICON

Power and battery life

The lights each incorporate two Cree LEDs, putting out 95 lumens in the rear and 125 in front. There's also a more powerful ICON+ option, with lights rated at 160 and 210 lumens, respectively.

Battery life depends greatly on the modes selected, although all four models are said to be good for at least 15 hours of use on one USB charge.

Creating smart cities

See.Sense would like to provide a cost-effective way for councils and municipalities to access high quality, crowd-sourced data from ICON for use in smart city initiatives and infrastructure design.

With the permission of cyclists, anonymised data such as favoured routes, crash locations or light levels can be uploaded to the cloud and data can then be shared with councils to provide smart city solutions that benefit all cyclists.

This information can have an impact in a number of ways, most importantly by reducing future incidents by, for example, alerting cyclists of dangerous routes and informing councils and municipalities on priority areas for cycling infrastructure provision.

Kickstarter campaign

See.Sense is currently raising production funds for its new lights on Kickstarter. A pledge of  about 127 euros (94 pounds) will get you a set of front and rear lights. The estimated delivery time is January, 2016.

See Sense ICON

Parvinder Marwaha


Parvinder Marwaha

British-born editor Parvinder studied architecture in the UK. Amsterdam’s architecture and design scene led her to the city, as well the obvious perks of canal-side living. She writes for various...

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