Do you need a 'black box' camera for your bike?

Rideye is a video camera that goes on your handlebars or helmet. Its continuous footage can be examined after an accident.

Rideye
Rideye has an accelerometer that can detect a crash, automatically saving footage. Rideye

Accidents with cars killed 677 cyclists in the US in 2011, according to the Department of Transporation. Another 48,000 were injured.

But do cyclists need a "black box" to record video that could be used in a crash investigation?

Rideye is a high-def video camera that records footage from the cyclist's point of view. The device, which is in the pre-production phase, could very well be a vital tool following a hit-and-run accident.

It was that sort of incident that inspired Los Angeles-based creator Cedric Bosh to design an eyewitness device for cyclists.

"I created Rideye after my friend was involved in a hit-and-run bike accident last year," Bosch told CNET. "He was left stranded by the side of the road, and racked up medical bills. I wanted to find a solution to these hit-and-run bike accidents, which are increasing at an alarming rate."

He added: "Most people do not drive with the malicious intent of hitting a cyclist. But in 90 percent of car-bike collisions" -- an LAPD statistic -- "the driver will say 'I didn't see him' or 'He came out of nowhere.' The responsibility falls on the cyclist to prove he was riding safely, and Rideye serves as an objective witness to prove that claim."

Rideye
Rideye

Rideye can sit on your handlebars, seat post, or helmet. You can easily remove it when you're not riding.

It has one-touch operation, crash sensors, and a continuous recording loop.

Housed in an aluminum box, the camera records .mov files at 1,280x720 resolution and carries a battery charge of 24 hours. Its accelerometer will detect when it's been knocked over and automatically saves the footage.

"License plates can be easily identified in most situations," Bosch said. "I spoke with a representative from LAPD who informed me that even when a plate is not available, the video will provide a detailed description of the vehicle, and if surrounding plates are identified, those people can be called as witnesses."

Rideye has been a hit on Kickstarter, where backers have ponied up more than $50,000, well above its goal of $32,000. It's being offered for $119.

What does the world look like from its lens? Check out the video below.

 

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