Monday, 6 November 2017

Tech: Cosmo Moto

As a motorcyclist, one of the best things you can do to improve your safety - apart from not riding like a knob, of course - is to make yourself more visible. That means high visibility colours and light-reflective inserts on jackets and crash helmets. Of course, it won't always work, but at the very least if you do get punted down the road by another vehicle, the other driver's standard-issue "sorry mate, I didn't see you" excuse will sound even more pathetic than usual. That said, some motorcyclists roll their eyes at the merest mention of hi-vis this and reflective that; sarcastically suggesting that we should all ride around with a flashing light stuck on our crash helmets.

Well in fact French startup Cosmo Connected do think that having a light on your lid may be a good thing. This company, founded by none other than Romain Afflelou (son of of the owner of the internationally-implanted Afflelou chain of High Street opticians), has developed a device called the Cosmo Moto, which is a sort of supplementary brake light that you fix to the back of your crash helmet.

But calling it a brake light is somewhat inexact and simplistic. Instead of lighting up when you squeeze the brake lever or push on the rear brake pedal, the Cosmo Moto's accelerometers detect when you slow down (either by braking or by rolling off the throttle) and light up the incorporated 24-LED light. The device is also connected to a complementary smartphone app that allows you to customise the unit's functions: as well as the basic configuration, you can choose to have the light on all the time with increased intensity when you slow down, or set it to flash continuously - this configuration can come in handy when filtering, in bad visibility conditions, or as a safety beacon if you're stopped by the roadside or on a motorway hard shoulder.