We've seen cycling gloves and jackets with built-in turn indicators before, although the former still requires you to take your hands off the bars to signal, while the latter requires you to wear a jacket even when it's warm out. The Elecwear cycling vest, however, attempts to address both of those issues – plus it lets you listen to music, earphones-free.
Made by South Korean company Aprowin, the Elecwear vest is worn like a shrug, over top of the user's existing shirt or jacket.
It contains LED turn indicators on the back, which are wirelessly activated via a handlebar-mounted remote. It also has two 2.0-watt Bluetooth speakers in the front, which receive music from the user's smartphone and direct the sound towards the rider's ears. Buttons on one of the speakers allow users to do things like skipping tracks or adjusting volume, without having to access their phone.
The vest is powered by a USB-rechargeable 500-mAh lithium-polymer battery, which should be good for 5 to 10 hours of music playback (depending on volume), or about 20 hours of signaling per charge.
The Elecwear vest is already available in some Asian markets, although Aprowin is now seeking distributors in North America. A company rep told us that it will likely be priced around US$80, with other models that feature only turn indicators or only speakers costing less.
One small thing to keep in mind, however ... Because the vest doesn't have LEDs on the front, users will still have to use traditional hand signals to let oncoming motorists know that they're turning.
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