BrakePack The Smart Backpack for Urban Cyclists
Biking is one of the healthiest methods of transportation—for us and for the environment. So it’s not a surprise that in the last 15 years, the number of people who commute to work on their bikes in the US has increased by 61%.
Unfortunately, with that has come a 16% increase in automobile-related cyclist fatalities and injuries. Many of these accidents happen at night or in poor visibility. And while interest in biking and pedestrian infrastructure continues to rise, especially in cities, investment is actually slowing down.
When biking in an urban environment, it’s essential to use proper signaling and stay as visible as you can at all times. However, hand signals, especially for those of us who are less experienced bikers, make us less stable and are not very visible, unless you can hold them for a while. A risky act in itself.
And while the variety of reflectors, blinking lights, and even glow in the dark body paint is truly dazzling, ask any biker: none of these solutions are ideal. Each time you leave your bike you need to remove all of those extra accessories so they aren’t stolen. Detachable lights add clutter and distract from the style of the bike. Reflective vests and jackets are far from stylish.
That was the challenge we decided to tackle through BrakePack, our prototype for a smart backpack for the urban cyclist. A winning idea from our incubation program, Startefact, BrakePack is designed to be as safe as it is stylish, as smart as it is straightforward.