London, Apr 11 : A London-based inventor who has designed a cycling jacket that changes colour when the cyclist applies the brakes has won a prize money of 6,000 pounds in an international design competition.
Michael Chen, who has designed the Reactiv cycle jacket with built in brake lights and indicators, got top honours at the James Dyson international design awards in New York.
The 28-year-old said that he invented the Reactiv cycle jacket, to feel safer when cycling in the streets of London.
"I cycled round London in the dark wearing my first prototype. It was a 10 waterproof jacket with LEDs stuck on by gaffer tape. For the first time, I noticed that cars passed me more slowly, gave me more room, and that the drivers and passengers were even making eye contact," BBC quoted Chen, as saying.
The jacket works by using an accelerometer to sense movement, which can change the colour of LEDs fitted on the back of the jacket.
The LEDs turn green while accelerating and then changing to red when braking. There's a tilt switch in the jacket, which makes the LEDs in the arm to flash amber when the wearers lifts their arm to indicate a turn.
Around 14 countries had sent their entries for the competition, which included a tangle-proof sailing rope, underwear that can correct posture and a toilet, which analyses waste.
A cash price of 5,000 pounds will be given to Chen with the other 1,000 pounds going to his former university in London.