Outdoors

Zyntony's flexible, wearable Ra light keeps heads and hands free

Zyntony's flexible, wearable R...
The Zyntony Ra provides the wearable convenience of a waterproof headlamp, with multiple times the output
The Zyntony Ra provides the wearable convenience of a waterproof headlamp, with multiple times the output
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The Zyntony Ra is powered by an external battery pack via micro USB connection
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The Zyntony Ra is powered by an external battery pack via micro USB connection
The (optional) magnetic backer strip allows the Zyntony Ra to attach to clothing, tent fabric, and other gear
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The (optional) magnetic backer strip allows the Zyntony Ra to attach to clothing, tent fabric, and other gear
The Zyntony Ra packs five Cree LEDs, connected by flexible circuitry sandwiched between strips of spring steel
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The Zyntony Ra packs five Cree LEDs, connected by flexible circuitry sandwiched between strips of spring steel
The Zyntony Ra provides the wearable convenience of a waterproof headlamp, with multiple times the output
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The Zyntony Ra provides the wearable convenience of a waterproof headlamp, with multiple times the output
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Even the best flashlights aren't as effective when your hands are busy with other tasks. Headlamps provide convenience and freedom, although visibility is limited by direction, with the potential to blind others upon eye contact. That's why Zyntony has created a new type of adventure light that pairs high lumen output with versatile mounting. The Ra is designed to magnetically strap to clothing, backpacks, or gear for broad area illumination.

If you need a bright light while trekking outdoors after dusk and don't mind holding it, something like the Zyntony Torch would suit just fine. Otherwise, it's a bit difficult to climb, steer, or set up equipment with only one hand free. The Ra provides the wearable convenience of a waterproof headlamp, but with multiple times the output. And the light doesn't move when you turn your head.

The Zyntony Ra is designed with five Cree LEDs, connected by flexible circuitry sandwiched between two strips of equally-flexible spring steel. Combined, these LEDs are capable of delivering up to 800 lumens of light with three selectable beam patterns. Behind each of the LED modules are a pair of neodymium magnets – 10 in total – which allow the Ra to be attached to any ferrous metal.

What makes this light wearable is the (optional) magnetic backer strip. Within a durable, flexible polycarbonate are 10 magnets that correspond (with opposite polarity) to the arrangement of the magnets mounted in Ra. This design permits the Ra to affix to backpack straps, outer layers of clothing, tent material, or anything else not too thick for the magnetic field. Given the easy adjustment, users are better able to position light as desired without the limitations that come with head- or hand-held alternatives.

The Zyntony Ra packs five Cree LEDs, connected by flexible circuitry sandwiched between strips of spring steel
The Zyntony Ra packs five Cree LEDs, connected by flexible circuitry sandwiched between strips of spring steel

Unlike most flashlights and headlamps that run off of AA/AAA batteries, the Ra receives power from external battery packs via USB cable. Zyntony's BatPacks are specially designed to work with the Ra, offering power without overheating and remote operation for multiple configurations. Depending on brightness setting and the battery's capacity, a single Ra can operate from 3.5 to over 252 hours.

The Zyntony Ra is currently funding on Kickstarter, having raised 178 percent of its US$15,000 goal in two days, with another 58 days left to go. A pledge of $58 sets you up with a Zyntony Ra and BatPak I, with additional tiers offering multiple lights and/or higher-capacity batteries.

Zyntony plans to complete prototype testing, finalize the design, and order tooling of the Ra before the funding phase ends. If production goes as planned, backers can expect shipments of the Ra to start sometime this June.

Check out the teaser video below to see how the Zyntony Ra works.

Sources: Zyntony, Kickstarter

60 second teaser: Ra

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3 comments
Mr. Hensley Garlington
That's really cool.
Keith Reeder
"although visibility is limited by direction"
That's a "problem" with headlamps, is it?
Why should I care about how the world I'm NOT looking at is lit?
roburry
@Keith Reeder - Yep, definitely a problem. Headlamps have a relatively narrow light pattern. The range your eyes have moving in their sockets far exceeds the beam pattern of even the best headlamps. So you find yourself having to use the flexibility range of your neck to shine the headlamp where you want to look. Then when you take into account the peripheral visual information normally received by your brain in a well lit area that you are missing with a headlamp's narrow beam pattern, your brain is operating on significantly less information as it it constructs the environment that you are are moving through. So throwing out 10x the light in a broader pattern really does make a big difference. We could jump deep into information theory, 3-D environment processing and psycho-visual effects to understand the difference, or just try it out and go, "wow, that's a lot better"!