WINGLIGHTS360 ON KICKSTARTER: Funding a new revolution in cycling safety

London – VIJAY SHAH

If you are a cyclist, or just happen to know someone who lives and breathes hi-viz, Lycra, and the wind through their hair while getting about on pedals and two wheels, you will know that cycling is a fun, adventurous and healthy sport. But like any sport, cycling comes with risks, and especially for urban cyclists, the roads of our cities are hazardous places where dangers can be unexpected.

 

On any road network, junctions pose the most danger for cyclists. According to the UK’s Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (RoSPA), 75% of the 19,000 bicycle accidents a year in the country happen at junctions, where cyclists are forced to contend with often heavy traffic flows, large vehicles and blind spots. Many of these accidents are caused by drivers not spotting cyclists or being unaware of a cyclist making a turn at a crossroads. Today, a quarter of accidents involving cars and cycles are caused by drivers’ failure to judge cyclists’ paths, especially at night, where hand signals by cyclists may not be noticed by drivers. It is this type of statistic that has also discouraged many from taking up daily cycling. Whilst the number of commuters has increased by 144% over the last decade, 68% of non-cyclists still believe it is too dangerous to cycle on the roads, making cycle safety a key issue now more than ever.

Unlike cars, bikes have no way of indicating changes in direction, but a freshly minted technology startup dedicated to producing innovative cycling safety equipment has a solution to help reduce the large numbers of cycling injuries and deaths on Britain’s roads.

CYCL, a London-based cycling technology startup managed by co-founder and chief technology officer, Agostino Stilli, launched a revolutionary new product, WingLights, in 2015, with help from public donations raised via Kickstarter crowdfunding. This simple, yet ingenious, technology involves LED devices attached to the cyclist’s bicycle handlebars, which behave like the turn signals on motor vehicles. Designed to be lightweight, waterproof, shockproof and robust for outdoors use, the product was featured on the BBC programme ‘Dragons’ Den’ in 2017, where it was backed by dragon Nick Jenkins. The gadget was publicised on WIRED, Business Insider and Forbes, and was adopted as the ‘Future of Transport’ by the UK Government.

WingLights began to light the way for cycling safety innovation and in the three years since they were launched, CYCL has fitted 50,000 devices to bikes, including the entire delivery fleet at the British arm of  the takeaway restaurant chain Domino’s Pizza.

Three years after its launch, CYCL has returned to Kickstarter to raise money for the latest iteration of WingLights, inspired by the feedback left by the gadget’s users and the original project’s supporters from Kickstarter. One story in particular stuck out. A cyclist going for a coastal ride in Dorset lost both her front and back lights and retained visibility on her route only by tapping WingLights repeatedly for hours before getting home safely (the original WingLights switch off automatically after 45 seconds). There was a clear need for a steady light mode to provide constant visibility.

 

CYCL’s design team went back to the drawing board, developing an enhanced version of the WingLights with permanent white/red side light functions. They also added an improved utility function where all the cyclist needs to do is snap the gadget on the ends of the bike’s handlebars and switch on: one tap for flashing indicators, and a continuous hold for steady side lights.
The new version, WingLights360, also comes packed with a helpful selection of new key features to help keep cyclists safe. Constructed from CNC aluminium for strength and lack of bulk, the devices are attached to the handlebars using magnets, and when not in use, can be tucked away on the person as a handy keyring. Perfect for the commute, they are now USB rechargeable, with a 3 hours battery operation interval and can be charged in under 30 minutes. The product has already become hot property before its impending launch with Forbes magazine naming WingLights360 their Forbes’ Top Cycling Gadget for 2018.

CYCL is one of a breed of startups catering to previously unexplored and poorly catered-for technological markets and is highly passionate about improving cyclists’ safety on the roads. The firm’s co-founder, Luca, said: “We have created a product based on the concept that motor vehicles have white and red side lights. We wanted to recreate this for the bicycle market, to ensure cyclists’ positioning and intentions are clear to other road users”.

CYCL officially launched the WingLights360 fundraiser to the general public this past Tuesday (11 September 2018). You can donate to the fund at this Kickstarter page. Send enquiries to info@cycl.bike .

cycl.bike

 

SOURCES:

Agostino Stilli/CYCL.

“Compatibility” – CYCL/Indive ltd https://cycl.bike/compatibility/

IMAGE CREDITS:

CYCL

 

Advertisements

IJNET: Mentoring clinic for MENA media startups launched

Amman – VIJAY SHAH via IFCJ

 

The International Journalists’ Network (IJNet)’s Arabic division has launched a new service from its mentoring centre designed to help journalists in the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region set up or further develop their media startups, the International Center for Journalists has reported.

The year-long programme, aimed at entrepreneurs developing the next generation of technologically-rich Arabic media, aims to help develop new startups in the regional news economy by providing face-to-face and virtual training which culminates in a conference and media ‘boot camp’ hosted in Jordan. IJNet Arabic is also offering a lump sum seed fund of USD 4,000 (GBP 3,002) to startups with the most promising projects to jumpstart.

IJNet’s Mentoring Centre has run for several years, boosting the presence of independent media and entrepreneurship in a part of the world where most major media outlets are tightly controlled government mouthpieces and freedom of speech is often a luxury. In previous years, the Centre has helped support the development of a digital museum for women in Egypt, an independent Iraqi news agency site and a Moroccan podcast service. 

The media startup mentoring service is accepting applications from journalists from or located in the MENA region up until the end of this month, with the first round of project selections scheduled for June, followed in November by the ARIJ conference and boot camp in Amman in Jordan. The seed funding will be awarded at the end of the programme in March 2019.

SOURCES:

HEM Journalism Portal, HEM News Agency, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/hem-journalism-portal

ICFJ, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/ICFJ

“IJNet Arabic’s Mentoring Center for MENA Media Startups” – International Center for Journalists https://www.icfj.org/our-work/ijnet-arabic%E2%80%99s-mentoring-center-mena-media-startups

5G WORLD: Post-Brexit strategies webinar

gb

London, UNITED KINGDOM
VIJAY SHAH

KNect365, a subsidiary business of leading multinational events company Informa, is releasing a webinar for telecoms organisations figuring out their next steps in the aftermath of the 24th June referendum that saw the United Kingdom vote by a slim margin to leave the European Union.

In what is an uncertain time for many British businesses, the webinar, which is being held as part of Informa’s telecoms.com e-magazine, will help players in the telecommunications industry explore their post-Brexit strategies, as upcoming negotiations over the UK’s eventual status concerning the EU leave the country’s firms wondering what is in their future, and the direction of the national and international telecoms market.

 

 

Currently the UK regulatory framework for telecommunications is partly underpinned by the EU Regulatory Framework with Ofcom acting as national regulatory body for companies based here such as Sky and TalkTalk. Should the UK Parliament honour the outcome of the referendum and trigger Article 50 for withdrawal from the EU, then it is expected that all telecoms regulation will pass completely to Ofcom.

In addition to regulation, UK telecoms firms are also concerned about other implications post-Brexit, such as increased roaming charges for British tourists travelling in the EU and the termination of EU funding which support research and development for 5G networks in British laboratories and investment into alternative network providers.

The webinar, entitled What’s Your Post-Brexit Strategy?” will also examine other core issues such as the impact of Brexit on fixed and mobile phone operators, corporate preparation work in regards to the split from the EU and the potential changes in Ofcom’s regulatory set-up and directives once EU law ceases to be valid here.

Speakers lined up to offer their advice at the webinar include Mike Conradi, a partner with law firm DLA Piper UK LLP, who specialises in dispensing commercial and regulatory advice to telecoms firms. His speciality is regulatory matters, telecoms and IT outsourcing and in telecoms infrastructure projects. Joining him will be Malcolm Corbett, the chief executive officer of Independent Networks Co-operative Association (INCA), the trade association for private, public and community sector organisations building next generation fibre and wireless broadband networks in the UK, and Informa’s own Tim Skinner, head of intelligence for telecoms.com, who is in charge of  delivering editorial content on client services, such as white papers, reports, webinars and surveys.

The event is free of charge but requires registration via KNect365. It is scheduled for Tuesday, August 2, 2016 at 3 pm British Summer Time, lasting one hour. To register, please see the sources link below.

DISCLAIMER: The writer is an employee of KNect365.
SOURCES:
Informa Accounts, The Half-Eaten Mind, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/halfeatenmind/lists/informa-accounts
5G World Series, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/5GWorldSeries
“Event Registration” – Knect365 & telecoms.com via ON24 https://event.on24.com/eventRegistration/EventLobbyServlet?target=reg20.jsp&partnerref=KNect365&eventid=1226515&sessionid=1&key=61D49E9A99BB88FDC13D0053BF883671&regTag=&sourcepage=register
IMAGE CREDIT:
5G World Series, Twitter, Twitter Inc. https://twitter.com/5GWorldSeries