Sunday, April 13, 2014

Remote Control Brake for Your Kid's Bike - God Help Mankind

Ugh. That's all I can say about this one.

"MiniBrake: to make cycling safer for kids all over the world!"

This YouTube video was mentioned by the NYC Bikesnob blog - it seems to represent a new low in parenting. Or something. The young Hungarian developers of this idea have setup an IndieGoGo project to fund commercial production of these devices, which are a remote control brake system for kids' bikes. If your child is riding off into danger as you talk on your cell phone (as shown in the video!), you just punch a button on a remote and the brake is applied. Since the remote has a range of 50 meters, the brake automatically applies if it moves out of range of the remote, and also applies if the battery is running low.

I suppose I could launch into my personal list of the reasons why I have problems with this, but I think each of us can do that for ourselves.

Note that they maintain that, "MiniBrake does not replace parental care and prudence!" Umm. And, "The product contains a „black box”, which logs all braking events." Oh great, already heading down the Strava path, if only for "braking events."

They have had this funding opportunity open for five days and raised about $3,300 of their $75,000 target, which they hope to achieve by May 11. Well, who knows.

Addendum: This isn't a new idea - as we know, there are few new ideas with bicycles. Some British folks came up with "Bike Stoppa" (but URL appears dead) in 2008 - it was written up news article but they seem to have ceased production, although someone sold one for several dollars used on eBay as recently as March of last year. It probably doesn't say much for the commercial chances of this endeavor for the Hungarians that the British version failed.

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