Industrial designer Evan Solida started racing road bicycles in 1993, and went on to experience some success in the sport ... until he was hit by a car on a training ride in 2007. He flew over the hood of the car and landed on his face, which resulted in his requiring several cosmetic surgeries. Although physically still able to ride, he was left with a fear of being in another such accident, to the point that he stopped racing. The experience also, however, prompted him to invent a couple of unique devices – a rearview video setup for bikes, along with a “black box” system that automatically records any accidents the cyclist is involved in.
“I'd been working on a digital rearview mirror for bicycles as a portfolio project for years, [but] it was never anything more than something I worked on to improve my design skills,” Solida told Gizmag. “I had a few working ‘prototypes’ hacked from Nintendo Gameboys, but that's about the extent of it.”
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That changed with his accident, and the 2009 foundation of his South Carolina-based company, Cerevellum. His first product, the Hindsight 30, will feature a rearview video camera that mounts on the seatpost, with a cable connecting it to a handlebar-mounted 3.5-inch LCD video screen. Front and rear LED running lights will be built into the camera and screen, with everything receiving power from a lithium-ion battery. Because the screen will be transflective, viewing it in direct sunlight should not be a problem.
More intriguing, however, is its farther-down-the-road sibling, the Hindsight 50. It will have front and rear cameras, GPS, cyclometer functions, and will continuously record a loop of video. It will also have a G-sensor, that will detect sudden major mechanical shocks – such as those which would occur if the bike were hit by an automobile. Should this happen, its video system will automatically stop recording after 10 seconds, saving the current loop of video as evidence of what actually happened in the accident.
When it comes to cyclists being able to see behind themselves, there is already a little something known as a mirror. Why does Solida think his system is better? “Mirrors are subject to a blurry image caused by road vibration. Because this is a digital image, it's steady and clear,” he told us. “Most mirrors stick out from the side of the handlebars or the helmet and can be easily knocked out of alignment. Finally, the image in a mirror is a direct result of which way they are angled whereas the Hindsight is always looking directly back, regardless of the direction of the handlebars or the riders’ head.”
Design of the Hindsight 30’s electronics is scheduled to begin within the next few weeks, with a public unveiling of the finished product planned for this September at the Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. Development of the Hindsight 50 is significantly more involved, so its release is planned for an undetermined later date. The 30 is expected to be available for purchase immediately after Interbike for US$249, while the 50 will go for around $549, depending on the cyclometer options selected.
Solida has also gained some attention for his cutting-edge Ra’el road bike design concept. Besides featuring an integrated Hindsight setup, it also sports a unique handlebar configuration, which is designed to work with Shimano’s Di2 electronic wireless derailleur system. He is currently trying to secure a license agreement with Shimano, so that the handlebars could someday see production.
“It's a labor of love, that's for sure,” he said of the Hindsight. “I love cycling and it's brought so much enjoyment into my life. I just want to offer a product that allows more people to swing a leg over a bike without the fear of cars. And if it saves even one life, then this extremely difficult road was well worth it.”
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