‘Smart’ is a word that gets thrown around a lot with technology. Slap a Bluetooth-connected Arduino board into a fridge, connect it to Twitter, and you might have the new iPhone on hand, or so the theory goes. So it’s with great reluctance that I admit this Bluetooth-connected light-up jacket looks like king of the mountain.
Lumenus can be found on Kickstarter trying to raise money for light-up jackets, vests and backpacks you can wear while running or biking at night. It’s got a good capacity battery, reasonably elegant design, and bright all-around visibility.
But it’s what happens when you connect your jacket to your smartphone via Bluetooth (not a sentence I ever thought I’d write) that makes this worth the money. When you slow down, the phone’s accelerometer detects that you're braking, and activates the rear brake lights. When you turn, it activates the turn signals. When it sees you’re coming up to an intersection (using Google Maps), it will start strobing brighter, so turning cars will see you.
There’s four different things you can buy with the light system: a one-size-fits-all vest, for £98 ($150); a cold-weather and windproof jacket, each for £130 ($200), and a commuter backpack, for £65 ($100).