Bicycles

Electronic sticker may keep cyclists from getting "doored"

The Life Sticker (on top of mirror) detects the Bluetooth signal of approaching cyclists' smartphones
The Life Sticker (on top of mirror) detects the Bluetooth signal of approaching cyclists' smartphones
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The Life Sticker (on top of mirror) detects the Bluetooth signal of approaching cyclists' smartphones
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The Life Sticker (on top of mirror) detects the Bluetooth signal of approaching cyclists' smartphones
Plans call for the Life Sticker to be commercialized and available within a year
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Plans call for the Life Sticker to be commercialized and available within a year

When you're cycling past parked cars on a busy road, you've really just got to hope that none of those vehicles' drivers decide to open their door right in front of you. Well, a new prototype device could help keep that from happening. It's called Life Sticker, and it's designed to cost less than €2 (about US$2.38) to produce.

Life Sticker adheres to a car's driver's-side wing mirror, and is powered by an integrated spherical solar cell.

An onboard accelerometer detects when the vehicle has stopped moving, at which point a directional Bluetooth antenna comes into play. If that antenna detects the Bluetooth signal from the smartphone of a cyclist approaching from behind, a red LED on the Life Sticker will start flashing, letting the driver know that they shouldn't open their door.

Plans call for the Life Sticker to be commercialized and available within a year
Plans call for the Life Sticker to be commercialized and available within a year

We're told that in the technology's current form, the cyclist would need to be running a Life Sticker app. Down the road, however, that may not be necessary.

The device was invented by Duokai Wang from the Shanghai office of electronics firm Semcon, as part of an internal competition. Plans call for it to be commercialized and available within a year.

You can see a demo in the following video.

Source: Semcon

Life Sticker - €2 door alert device

11 comments
Joshua Tulberg
Anyone who would buy this is already someone who is aware of the issue. And if you are aware of the issue then there is no point in buying it. Just do the "Dutch Reach" and open the car door with your right hand, forcing you to look over your shoulder for a bike.
martinkopplow
Joshua is right. Also, if a cyclist has no Bluetooth enabled, he's already as good as dead, because car drivers will soon learn to rely upon the device and carelessly open the door whenever it issues no warning. This device is bound to do more harm than good. If your car has a wing mirror to mount it onto, then just use the mirror.
MartinVoelker
This addressed a grave problem. The issue even has a name - dooring - and a wiki page where we learn that a study in Chicago found that doorings made up 19.7% of all reported bike crashes. Built-in safety features in cars probably won't be able to handle the situation as they don't work once the engine is shut down.
Rusty Harris
Don't lane split, and follow the traffic laws. Problem solved.
Martin Winlow
I'm also with Joshua on this one. If you have to look *at* your mirror for this system to work, why not save your money and look 'into' the mirror to see if anything is coming (including pedestrians and vehicles - blind spots permitting). Isn't failing to do so and causing problems by 'opening a door to the danger...' an offence everywhere else in the world, like it is in the UK? A better target for Mr Wng's time and skills would be a similar device for detecting *on-coming* traffic (especially vulnerable traffic such as pedestrians and horses) in single track country lanes with very high banks/hedges such as exist all over the more remote parts of the UK.
MerlinGuy
Another stupid Answer in search of a problem. We're all down with Josh on this one. Seriously, if you're already looking at your mirror then you see the cyclist coming.
Ed Llorca
The bit you all missed is that the driver is not looking at the mirror already. the flashing red led will allegedly get their attention. That is how it works. the problem I see is that with the short range of bluetooth and the speed of a moving bike, by the time the light turns on the cyclist is already there.
Don Duncan
Cars will come with a built-in warning, a motion sensor that is part of the already lane-change warning system.
JeffK
While I certainly don't want to harm a bicyclist, I have even less desire to have my door (and possibly my arm) removed by a passing motorist. It behooves anyone exiting a vehicle on the street side, whether driver or passenger, to ensure the coast is clear. Several decades ago, the front seat passenger in a car parked on the left side of our one way Main Street shoved open the door into the path of a firetruck responding to a call. Fortunately, it was an elderly lady who used her cane to open the door and the only damage was to the vehicle. That said, as a bicyclist in my pre-arthritis days, I see no reason to ride so close to parked cars as to be in the arc of an opening door.
DavidStonier-Gibson
Dumb idea of the month!