Bicycles

ORP Smart Horn brings bike light and horn together as one

ORP Smart Horn brings bike lig...
The ORP Smart Horn combines two-tone bike horn with 87 lumens LED twin lights
The ORP Smart Horn combines two-tone bike horn with 87 lumens LED twin lights
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ORP's mission is to make cyclists more visible and more audible
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ORP's mission is to make cyclists more visible and more audible
Development sketches of the ORP Smart Horn with built-in LED lights
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Development sketches of the ORP Smart Horn with built-in LED lights
The ORP has been through several prototype stages
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The ORP has been through several prototype stages
Combined twin LED lights and two-tone horn in one unit
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Combined twin LED lights and two-tone horn in one unit
The integrated handlebar grip and clip that stretches to fit bar diameters of 26 - 33 mm
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The integrated handlebar grip and clip that stretches to fit bar diameters of 26 - 33 mm
A micro-USB port at the rear connects to a computer for charging
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A micro-USB port at the rear connects to a computer for charging
Building and testing the circuitry
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Building and testing the circuitry
The ORP engineering mule is larger than the proposed production unit
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The ORP engineering mule is larger than the proposed production unit
The ORP operational engineering mule is bulked out by a hand-soldered PCB, ugly screws and a roomy outer shell
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The ORP operational engineering mule is bulked out by a hand-soldered PCB, ugly screws and a roomy outer shell
The Li-ion battery is charged via USB
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The Li-ion battery is charged via USB
Cut away detailing the internal layout of the ORP
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Cut away detailing the internal layout of the ORP
Exploded view of the ORP Smart Horn
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Exploded view of the ORP Smart Horn
A power on/off button to the top is used to cycle through the LED modes
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A power on/off button to the top is used to cycle through the LED modes
The two small always-on/blink LEDs pump out 87 lumens with a 120-degree cone
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The two small always-on/blink LEDs pump out 87 lumens with a 120-degree cone
The ORP Smart Horn combines two-tone bike horn with 87 lumens LED twin lights
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The ORP Smart Horn combines two-tone bike horn with 87 lumens LED twin lights
The weatherproof silicone skin comes in a number of color options
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The weatherproof silicone skin comes in a number of color options

When it comes to riding in the city, you'd be forgiven for thinking that cyclists don a cloak of invisibility before entering a busy traffic stream. According to the latest figures from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 618 cyclists were killed in motor vehicle traffic crashes during 2010 and a further 52,000 suffered non-fatal injuries. While this loss of life only represents two percent of all motor vehicle traffic fatalities, it's still troublingly high. After reading about some well-publicized urban bike/truck battles where the commercial vehicle emerged a good deal better off than the rider, designer Tory Orzeck started to think of ways to give cyclists more presence on the road. The result of his labors is a handlebar-mounted, dual-tone, LED-packing smart bike horn called ORP.

Although the faithful bicycle bell is fine for alerting pedestrians, it's of little use in city traffic. Riders wanting to make sure that cocooned car and truck drivers sit up and take notice could opt for the deafening Hornster bike or install a blinding Fenix light – Orzeck's ORP smorn (smart horn), however, offers a less extreme option while still giving bicyclists the power to make themselves heard and seen.

The weatherproof silicone skin comes in a number of color options
The weatherproof silicone skin comes in a number of color options

The project began with the creation of a powerful two-tone bike horn that sounded either a not-too-alarming 76-dB "hello" or blasted out a 96-dB "watch out" through its piezo speaker at the press of a built-in actuator – a light up or down movement for the former and a more forceful push for the latter. During testing, Orzeck and the rest of the development team (Ivan Epling, Cory Pearman, Vince O'Malley, Jason Wells, Tim Ploeger, and Dan Sweet) discovered that driving the horn sound required little from the unit's Li-ion battery, so decided to add some LED lights to the front as well.

The two small always-on/blink LEDs pump out 87 lumens with a 120-degree cone, but the ORP team plans to ramp up the output to 92 lumens in fast strobe mode when a rider presses the appropriately-named "Wail Tail" at the rear of the device to activate either horn sound.

Currently at pre-production prototype stage, the design features a power on/off button to the top that's also used to cycle through the LED modes (slow strobe, fast strobe and constant). The battery is charged via USB, and in-house tests have given six hours of constant use with the lights in always-on mode, or 12 hours with the slow strobe mode selected (though actual real-life battery life will vary depending on usage). An LED status indicator will flash green for good and red for dead as different light modes are selected.

The ORP engineering mule is larger than the proposed production unit
The ORP engineering mule is larger than the proposed production unit

The team's operational engineering mule (shown above) is bulked out by a hand-soldered PCB, ugly screws and a roomy outer shell, and as such is a tad larger than the unit shown in this article's lead image. A correctly-proportioned ORP has been produced with dimensions of 60 x 70 x 38 mm (2.36 x 2.75 x 1.5 inches), though it's currently devoid of internal components. The finished product's high impact polycarbonate frame and boards will be encased in a weatherproof silicone skin, with an integrated handlebar grip and clip that stretches to fit bar diameters of 26 - 33 mm.

The ORP project has just hit the Kickstarter crowd-funding portal, with early bird backers able to secure an ORP in black for US$40 (expected retail price is $49.95). Once these limited units have been snapped up, an additional $5 will need to be stumped up, but backers will be able to choose from a number of color options. A special "glow in the dark ORP" named GLORP is also offered for a pledge of $55.

The campaign is set to run until February, with a conservative estimate of September 2013 penciled in for delivery to Kickstarter backers.

Source: ORP, Kickstarter page

The ORP team's campaign video follows.

Orp Smart Horn {Smorn}

3 comments
wle
sorry but i can yell way louder and my battery is never dead and i am free or at least cheap also that light isn;t very bright, you need 500+ lumens to be able to actually see to ride in the dark wle
Gadgeteer
I'd rather have an Airzound. A much louder 115db and available online for as little as half of the Orp's retail price. Add a friendly-sounding Mirrycle bell (I like their Grip model) and a decent LED headlight with much higher light output and the total is still less than $50.
Nina A
sure you can yell louder, "wle" try listening to the kickstarter video with the volume at normal level with headphones on. It's super loud. And its not meant to be a flashlight on bike, its simply a beacon light.