Thursday, June 24, 2010

The bicyclist’s panopticon

Sometime in the next ten years, there will be a thumb sized bell on the left side of my rear bicycle rack – and perhaps another on the right side.

It will contain a battery, a GPS, a clock, a gyroscope and a proximity sensor, 1TB of memory, 1 button and 3-4 lenses. It will cost $100.

As I ride it will take pictures to the front, rear and left sides. It will constantly thin out older images to make room for newer ones. Images will be digitally signed and will incorporate location and time stamps.

If an object passes within 3 feet an incident marker will be set and neighboring images will be preserved. If the gyroscope detects abrupt acceleration or if the button is pushed incident markers will be set.

Images will be admissible as evidence. At the end of day’s commute a bicyclist may choose to submit incidence reports with annotations. Depending on the circumstance a driver may receive a warning, a ticket, or a summons.

The bicyclist’s panopticon will make the streets safer, and encourage some aging boomers to use alternative transportation (my generation).

Hat tip: David Brin, of course, and Jon Udell on defensive surveillance for cyclists.

Update 8/15/2010: The Cerevellum cycle computer includes a rear view digital camera and accident detection/recording capability. The owner is taking pre-orders.

I think this is one of my safer predictions.

Update 9/16/10: The Lookcie. Did I say ten years? I meant 3 years.

Update 2/2/11: Increasing use of bike cameras in the UK


RonP said...

Well, you could put it in the mix on Quirky. Who knows, it might win.

Greg said...

Then, of course, drivers will want the ability on cars to submit incidents of bike running lights or stop signs, cutting through traffic, etc.

John Gordon said...

Seems fair :-).