CatEye's new system lets one phone run seven bike lights
If you cycle with multiple lights on your bike, then you may find that repeatedly turning them all on and off can be a bit of a hassle. Well, that's where the new CatEyeSYNC system comes in. It lets you wirelessly synchronize and control up to seven lights at once, via your smartphone.
CatEyeSYNC incorporates three light models, the Core, Kinetic and Wearable. These can be purchased and used individually, or in any combination. An accompanying iOS/Android app allows them to be controlled via Bluetooth either all at once, or independently of one another.
The Core headlight weighs 94 g (3.3 oz), puts out a maximum of 500 lumens, and can be set to any of five flashing/intensity modes via the app. If users don't wish to dig out their phone, the Core's power button can be used to turn all three lights on and off simultaneously.
Weighing in at 43 g (1.5 oz), the 30-lumen seatpost-mounted Kinetic tail light features an integrated accelerometer, which causes it to temporarily brighten to 50 lumens when the rider applies the brakes. The 40-lumen Wearable tail light weighs 21 g (0.7 oz), and adds extra visibility when mounted on items such as the rider's clothing, helmet or backpack. Both of the tail light models feature six output modes.
Each of the lights is powered by its own USB-rechargeable lithium battery, the charge level of which can be monitored on the app. When any of those batteries drop beneath a 10-percent charge, the rider is notified via a text alert. If set to maximum output, the Core should be good for two hours of runtime, while the Kinetic and Wearable are rated at 1.5 hours – those figures go up considerably at more energy-efficient output modes.
And while it may seem like the system could be used to let one person control the lights on multiple riders' bikes all at the same time, we're told that the Bluetooth range isn't sufficient to let that happen. Instead, the idea is that a single rider could double up on one or more of the lights – particularly the Wearable – boosting their safety.
The CatEyeSYNC system should be available this autumn (Northern Hemisphere), and is demonstrated in the following video. Pricing will range from US$90 for the Core, $70 for the Kinetic and $70 for the Wearable, up to $150 for a Core/Kinetic twin pack.