Strollbright offers peace of mind for every parent on the go. Our bright, energy-efficient LED strips ensure that your stroller will be easily seen by everyone around. Whether you’re talking about a car, a bicycle, a pedestrian, or even another stroller, the more visible you are, the less likely you are to get bumped. Strollbright is the simple and effective solution that just might prevent a terrible accident.
Our team includes a new first-time dad and a new first-time uncle, both of whom were put in charge of stroller research and purchase. Every parent out there knows how many options there are, but while it was daunting, it was also pretty fun – there’s so much cool stuff these days! In fact, some of what’s cool about strollers in 2014 reminded us of bikes (lightweight materials, fancy tires, etc.).
We’re all avid cyclists, and we all have lights for our bikes and reflective clothing to keep us safe at night. We noticed, though, that similar products didn’t exist for strollers. Sure, some strollers will have a little reflector on the front or on a wheel, but that’s not nearly enough when you consider that, on average, there’s an accident involving a stroller every 30 minutes. You wouldn’t see so many cyclists riding at night dressed in comically-garish oranges and yellows with reflective material all over if the reflectors on bike wheels were enough.
We’ve been noticing some of the cool new ideas for bikes, like Revolights and theKickstarter-funded MonkeyLight. Both of these products use LEDs to light up your bicycle wheels. If they can do that for bikes, we figured that something similar would be perfect for strollers.
The difference that Strollbright makes is like night and day
Fortunately, the new uncle on our team is also the lead engineer at LED Group Buy, and he knows more than you’d ever want to know about LEDs. The options were dizzying, but we knew we had five criteria on which our product had to excel:
Simplicity of Use
And frankly, we’re picky, so if we could make it look kinda cool without compromising on these five points, we wanted to be all over that too.
Simplicity of use is a tricky one to solve when it comes to strollers. As any parent or parent-to-be knows, strollers come in all kinds of designs and sizes. We needed something that could be installed and left on the stroller permanently. If it’s something you need to stick on every time you want to use it, inevitably you won’t bother sometimes. When it comes to safety, that’s not good enough. The only way to this is going to work is something that fits right to the structure of the stroller and doesn’t protrude. Flexible strips are the perfect choice (and we made sure that they’re waterproof, of course).
Strollbright is a cinch to install, and you only have to do it once
At first, we tried one single strip that makes a loop around the stroller. This would make it visible from every angle (so long as the strip was clear), which was another one of our design goals. However, getting this to fit right on a wide variety of strollers was just too complicated. Instead, we found that having two (or more) shorter strips to install on the sides could fit any stroller we tried, and was every bit as visible as the wrap-around design.
We learned a lot through our first two design iterations
When it comes to cost and energy efficiency, it’s all about choosing the right LEDs for the job. We experimented with different colors, but after talking to our LED expert, we settled on a particular white LED model that maximizes brightness in wavelengths that are most visible to the human eye, and does so with the least wasted energy. Our expert also gave us a lead that helped us get these ideal LEDs manufactured at a very competitive price.
Milad, our lead engineer, hard at work in the lab
So far, we’ve tested Strollbright on the majority of the most popular strollers. Every one of them has an appropriate, highly-visible place to install Strollbright. There are an awful lot of strollers in the world, so we can’t necessarily claim to fit every single stroller out there, but we think we’ve done pretty well as far as a universal fit goes.
Strollbright will fit these strollers and many, many more
The final criterion, you might recall, was style. We didn’t actually do any work on this, but we still feel like we kinda nailed it. When we put them on and walked around our neighbourhood, they just looked cool. More than a few Moms and Dads have come up to us unprompted to ask where they could buy them.
Strollbright looks fine in the light of day…
…but it truly shines at night
The Next Steps
If you’re kind enough to help fund Strollbright, we’ll be able to bring our product to you, and to a wider market. We’ve funded all of the development and prototyping ourselves, but we need help to ramp up. We’re really excited about the potential of the product, and we want to get it in the hands (and on the strollers) of as many Moms and Dads as possible in time for the very early sunsets that are (sadly) coming soon in the Northern Hemisphere. Here’s what you can expect:
If we hit our funding goal, production starts immediately. We have an exact working prototype of our design, so we know that it can be built exactly as we want and that it will work.
On completion (about 2 weeks), we express ship to our US and Canadian warehouses.
From there, we ship by USPS or Canada Post right to your door. At most, it will be a month or two from the end of our campaign.
From here, we’re going to push as hard as we can to get into retail and online stores across the continent (and beyond?).
Of course, we’re also passionate about making our product even better. We already have a few ideas up our sleeves for Strollbright 2.0 (see below), but we need 1.0 to succeed first with your help!
Strollbright delivers a safer ride
Features in Development
What is it? Okay, so Strollbright is already super easy to operate – just press the buttons on your LED strips. We want to make it even easier. With a single button that straps on to the stroller’s handle, all of your Strollbright strips will come on together. Or, if you want to make your lights flash (when crossing a street, for example), just hit the handy button when you get to the crosswalk and you’ll be even more visible.
How will we do it? We will add a short-range wireless actuator to the control circuit of each Strollbright strip, and develop an unobtrusive universal wireless button that attaches to any stroller’s handlebar. The button will pair with your strips automatically in keeping with Strollbright’s trademark simplicity.
What is it? Pressing a single button is pretty simple, but we can do better. Why risk forgetting to turn the lights on, or forgetting to turn them off and draining the battery? Wouldn’t it be nicer if the strips activated automatically when you go on a walk in the morning or evening, and then turn off when you finish your walk? By combining acceleration and light sensors, we want to do just that.
How will we do it? We will add an accelerometer to the LED strips and a series of photo sensors (which will detect the level of ambient light). What will be tricky about this is making sure the LEDs are activated during your whole walk (even when you pause for a break or at an intersection). The other thing we want to prevent is having the LEDs unnecessarily on when you have the stroller folded up in the dark trunk and driving somewhere, for example.
What is it? Replace our coin batteries with rechargeable batteries that self-charge while you walk.
How will we do it? Adapt the concept of FlyKly and Copenhagen Wheel to have a small motor in a stroller wheel connected to the LED strips. The trick here is simple installation – we want this to work on most strollers with various wheel sizes ranging from a few inches to big off-road wheels, so we need an expandable housing that easily attaches and can be installed in seconds.
Smart Alert headlight detection
What is it? The smart alert system is designed to automatically alert drivers of vehicles that have your stroller in their direct patch.
How will we do it? We have been perfecting a set of sensors and algorithm to detect if there is a headlight of a vehicle that has your stroller in its direct path. If the algorithm detects this it will quickly blink LEDs at high brightness to alert the vehicle to stop.
Strollbright would love to hook two lucky readers up with a pair of Stroller LED lights. Simply enter using the Rafflecopter form below and we will choose our two winners after 11/13/14. Good luck!