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Illum Jacket promises to keep cyclists safe and seen

There’s no doubt about it, cycling is a risky business. This jacket glows to make sure you’re always seen on the road, reducing the possibility of accidents.

It’s a concept at the moment, and packs in some pretty nifty tech. The outer is made up of individual lightweight fabric panels that feature printed electroluminescent surface graphics all around the body. This provides 360-degree light, so even if you’re wearing a backpack, you’ll still be lit up like a Christmas tree.

The jacket will feature an integrated battery to power the light. You’ll switch it on using a switch in the cuff.

Eventually it’ll be powered by printed batteries, but until that day arrives, a rechargeable will have to do. Thanks to a printed polymer that forms a solar cell, the jacket could juice up on solar energy, thus becoming self-powered.

The jacket is lightweight, too, meaning the cyclist will stay cool and dry.

The aim is to eventually incorporate technologies such as GPS and NFC to alert drivers to nearby cyclists so they can avoid steering into them.

The Illum is made by Goose Design, an apparel and graphic design consultancy. “For this cycling jacket, we wanted to move forward and create something flexible that could be worn, washed, damaged, stitched up and thrown into a bag just like any other jacket,” said Jenni Arksey from Goose Design. “We wanted simplicity, style and super functionality.”

The firm is currently in discussion with a team of experts to investigate commercially viable wearable concepts.

Read more: Microsoft launching its own fitness-focussed smartwatch within weeks

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