Whether you use it as your main means of transportation of just for a fun weekend ride, biking is possibly our favorite two-wheelin’ way to get around. It would be great if every ride could be worry free, but unless you live in some far away land where automobiles don’t exist, you should always be super cautious about sharing the road.
In recent years we’ve made advancements in the bike safety department (think back to that jacket that flashes when drivers get too close and Skully, the motorcycle smart helmet), but the risk is always there. If we can’t avoid it entirely it’s best to be full prepared. And that’s my we love the newest app in bike safety — introducing The Bike Shield.
The concept for The Bike Shield is super simple. It’s a vehicle-to-vehicle communication system that takes advantage of your mobile phone’s technology to warn car drivers when bicycles and motorcycles are around. If you’re a driver, the app will automatically activate using its accelerometer. When a motorcycle or bicyclist is in vicinity, you will get an acoustic notification five to 10 seconds before you see them.
Sending out a warning signal is the app’s main focus, but it also has some other cool features. Bikers can take a look at other users in the area to establish safe routes. If you see an area that looks flooded with Bike Shield users it might be a good indication to peddle an alternate way. For drivers, the app gives you the option to disable texting while your car is in motion – which really should just happen automatically. And if you want to forget about your iPhone or Android all together whilst on the road, the app also works with smartwatches.
All of this sounds great, but there is one major pit fall here. The app really only works if everyone on the road is using it. Drivers wont be alerted unless they have it and additionally, nearby bikers can’t make themselves known without also being active on Bike Shield. In time this might become as standard of an app as Instagram but until then it might be best to take some additional precautions, maybe like this laser light that streams a bike symbol onto the street about 16 to 20 feet ahead of you.
We’re definitely not saying Bike Shield is a bust, just that its potential is very dependent on the amount of downloads. If you want to get the ball rolling head over to the app store now, on Bike Shield’s debut day.
Are you an active biker? How do you stay safe on the road?