University group scoop £1,000 cash prize from high-vis firm FHOSS

Brighton students design reversible cycling jacket

University of Brighton students have won £1,000 by developing a jacket that illuminates in the dark, yet is reversible to look ‘normal’ during daylight hours.

The winning team came up with a reversible jacket with strip lights on one side to be worn at night and a plain look on the other, so it appears more “cool” in the daytime.

The jacket has light strips on the surface, making it much easier for wearers to be seen. Lights can also flash along one arm when a cyclist is making a turn in that direction.

Student Adam Hargrave, a member of the winning team, said the lights are powered by a rechargeable battery cell and are operated from a control panel on the jacket’s sleeve. The panel can be connected via Bluetooth to an iPhone, allowing the controls and the phone to be activated by voice command.

The contest idea came about when a FHOSS employee was stopped for not having lights on his bike at one of the council’s road safety awareness events in Brighton.

The company’s chief executive Andy Kimitri realised that most high-visibility gear is not attractive, particularly to young people, and he decided to work with the council and students to come up with something new.

Students had six weeks to develop ideas and prototypes, using FHOSS’s self-illuminating high-visibility fabric. The competition involved product design, fashion and business students who competed for FHOSS’s prizes of £1000, £500 and an i-pad 3 for the best ideas.

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