If you spend any time cycling on the road, there’s a very good chance that you’ve had a near accident with a motorist. More cyclists are hitting the streets and with crowded roads, streets in disrepair, and – let’s face it – an apathy toward cyclists, the likelihood of an accident seems a very real possibility each time you head out. Helmet cameras might help you after the fact, but what about in the heat of the moment? A Kickstarter campaign born from Portland, Oregon, one of the bike-friendliest cities around, might just be the trick.
The product is called the Orp and is a pretty ingenious little device; it contains a very powerful light and an very loud horn. The Orp, designed by former Nike industrial designer Toren Orzeck and his team, is a “smart horn” designed to make cyclists more visible to traffic around them.
A slight push on the device’s tail emits a 76 decibel noise to alert motorists and pedestrians — a noise level similar to a common bike bell. However, a harder push on the tail and a 96 decibel warning shrieks out from the Orp, putting everyone on notice of your location. At the same time, the smart horn’s light goes into strobe mode, rapidly flashing dual 87 lumen LEDs. The light can also be set to slow or fast strobe or solidly on.
The weatherproof Orp uses a rechargeable lithium ion battery and will last up to six hours with a constant light, about twice as long on slow strobe. With no wires, the Orp is easy to move from bike to bike or remove when locking your bike. Kickstarter funders can get a discount off the planned $49.99 price and a choice of colors: Asphalt Black, Frostbyte White, Asthma Blue, Safety Cone Orange, and Snot Green. With about three weeks to go, the Orp is about halfway to its goal.