When Zach Vorhies suggested that I try out his turn signal gloves, I thought they were a dumb idea. Very few cyclists bother to signal and there isn't much point to it, because very few drivers bother to pay attention to them or even understand them. Hand signals that cyclists are taught are derived from hand signals designed for drivers, who can only use their left arm.
Ontario government/Public Domain
So when turning right, cyclists are told, counter-intuitively, to use their left hand, pointing up. Most drivers don't get it. In fact, most drivers don't pay much attention at all to cyclists, and need a big honking bright arrow in their face to understand that something is happening. That's why these gloves are not such a dumb idea at all. Because they don't work on the convention of arm up or down, they simply and logically point in the direction you are going.
They also work really well with oncoming traffic where traditional hand signals are even more confusing.
Then there is the question of whether a cyclist wearing these things would use them, and I think the answer is yes. After all if you have invested US$ 69 in something like this you are going to show them off and put them in front of a driver's face, or what's the point? You know they are going to get their attention.
Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0
Finally there is the issue of whether cyclists should have to do this at all. As Janice Turner wrote, in much of Europe this would be thought of as completely ridiculous.
In Europe's top three cycling nations -- Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands -- timorous old people cycle, women as often as men, children bike off unaccompanied to school. Cycling is not a moral manifesto or a carbon offset. It does not require DayGlo or £500 alloy wheels or attitude. Cycling is, as it should be, banal. Because it is safe.
I have complained before that telling people to dress up like a dayglo Christmas tree is, as Mikael Colville- Anderson would put it, promoting "a culture of fear." Certainly headlines like the review on Huffpo, A Pair Of Gloves Could Save Your Life falls smack into that category. I don't think this is the same thing; these are about communication with others, just like turn signals on cars.
The gloves are ridiculously easy to use. One would expect that a former google engineer would design a system with GPS and built in google maps or accelerometers to detect a turn; instead, there are two big dumb metal rivets sewn into the side of the thumb and forefinger, you just press them together and the flashing lights go on. Works like a charm.
They are also nicely made, comfortable and very well padded, better than the riding gloves I wear now. On his Kickstarter page, Zach claims that a battery will last up to six months. They are really bright. According to the manual, there is an "ambient sensor" which "allows the gloves to find the right balance between battery life and visibility."
Lloyd Alter/CC BY 2.0
Zackees’ award-winning Turn Signal Gloves are the latest, must-have safety innovation for cyclists. Simply press your thumb to your index finger to activate your LED blinker. Designed in California by a former Google Engineer, Zackees Turn Signal Gloves make it easy to communicate with cars. Put the power of signals in your hands.
|Package Height||2.2 x 7.2 x 7.7 inches|
|Shipping Weight||0.5 pounds|
|Temperature Rating||60 Degrees Celsius|
This glove is tough enough to survive your washing machine. Remove the batteries and toss in the cold wash with your other dirty clothes. Hang dry.
How can they be so bright when using such a small battery? Efficiency. Our LEDs are some of the most efficient on the market at converting power into light. A light sensor boosts light output during the day!
We hate changing batteries as much as you do. That’s why our gloves get 2 months of daily active use (when used with four minutes of active blinking a day).
We wanted to create the best possible glove that would compete against the top glove makers. Therefore we added comfortable leather palms, an absorbent towel around the thumb, retro-reflective trim and breathable spandex throughout.
We are offering the gloves in sizes small, medium, and large.
The US, Canada and Europe allow alternative signaling in which you extend your arm out in the direction that you intend to turn. This is how we recommend you use Zackees™ Turn Signal Gloves™.
Furthermore, having the arrow position in our product allows you signal in front of you without having to take your hands off the handle bars!
If the signal is not blinking, they’re already off! The gloves wake up from their off state whenever they detect that the contact pads are pressed together.
The gloves will automatically shut themselves off after a set period of time of being on to prevent the battery from draining in situations like these.
Mounting the turn signals on the bike has four main drawbacks:
1) The turn signals can be stolen while the bike is parked.
2) The placement of lights under the seat is not very visible.
3) It’s cumbersome and time consuming to mount.
4) Signaling in front and behind requires two sets of mounted turn signals.
Zackees™ Turn Signal Gloves™ are a better solution because the gloves can’t be stolen off your bike, the lights on the gloves are more visible, there is no mounting involved, and there’s less clutter on your bike.
Two types of batteries are supported, both in a “2032” size (20 mm diameter, 3.2 mm thick):
1) Disposable batteries supported are 3 volt “lithium” cells. Battery models of this type will include the following names on the package: “CR2032”, “BR2032”, “DL2032”, “EA2032”, “ECR2032”, “LM2032”, “5004LC”, “KCR2032”, “L14”.
2) Rechargeable batteries supported are 3.7 volt “lithium ion” cells. Battery models of this type will include the following names on the package: “LR2032”, “LIR2032”.
Zackees Turn Signal Gloves by Zach Vorhies — Kickstarter
これがZackees Turn Signal Gloves。素材にはレザー・吸水性の高いタオル生地・高価な糸・ワイヤーなどが使用されており、とても丈夫です。そして手の甲部分にはウィンカーライトが付いており、これには防水処理が施されているので洗濯も可能となっています。
Zackees Turn Signal Glovesは1日4分間点滅を繰り返すだけならば3～6か月の使用が可能。バッテリーはオリジナルのボタン充電池と使い捨てのボタン電池CR2032を使用可能で、バッテリーのタイプに応じてライトのパワーを調節してくれますがオリジナルのボタン充電池を使用した方がより明るく光るようです。なお、充電池は専用のUSB充電器で充電できます。
Zackees Turn Signal Glovesを装着すれば安全に趣味を楽しめます。
このZackees Turn Signal Glovesは現在Kickstarterにて出資を募っている最中で、65ドル(約6800円)と日本への配送料としてプラス15ドル(約1600円)の出資をすれば黒色のグローブ1組をゲット可能。さらに、99ドル(約1万円)プラス20ドル(約2100円)の配送料を出資をすれば黒・赤・青・ピンクのいづれかのカラーのグローブ1組と、ボタン充電池と充電器がゲットできます。さらに399ドル(約4万2000円)プラス20ドル(約2100円)の配送料を出資すれば、即グローブの製造が開始され、出資期限の1月8日午後2時8分から1週間以内には配送してくれる、とのことです。