iPhone as Bicycle Blinky Light: Monocle

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One effective way to improve your visibility while cycling at night is to wear a tail light, with a blinky light attached to the rear of your bike, your jacket, or your bag. But if you feel like that’s just one more thing for you to keep track of, or some punks keep taking yours off your bike, it looks as if you’re in luck, as you may soon be able to just use your iPhone as your blinky light.

One effective way to improve your visibility while cycling at night is to wear a tail light, with a blinky light attached to the rear of your bike, your jacket, or your bag. But if you feel like that’s just one more thing for you to keep track of, or some punks keep taking yours off your bike, it looks as if you’re in luck, as you may soon be able to just use your iPhone as your blinky light.

We already use our smartphones for just about everything else, including a flashlight, so why not use the gadget you already have in your pocket to replace the one you keep forgetting to clip on your bag? Well, the folks at Studio KMD are working toward that end with their Kickstarter project, called Monocle.

“Monocle turns the phone you already have into an easy and safe bike light, allowing users to increase visibility for night riding without the inconveniences of a traditional bike light. Monocle attaches to the belt of the rider and by using a red filter over the flash on the iPhone we can increase visibility and help you get home safe.”

Users activate the Monocle iPhone app, choose the length of time to run and the frequency of the flashes (number of times per second), slip it into the holster, and ride off on their merry way. In the manufacturer’s tests they report that using the app to flash 3 times per second over a 15 minute bike ride will use approximately 7% of the phone’s charge, and the app also has low-battery warning notifications, so you won’t be caught off guard by a dead battery later.

The Monocle is said to fit the new iPhone 5 as well as the 4 and 4s, either as a ‘naked’ phone, or with a slim hard case on them.

To kick in a few bucks toward Monocle, see the Kickstarter page.