Improving pedestrian safety: Smart reflector combines sensors and LEDs

January 29, 2016 // By Paul Buckley
VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland has collaborated with with the Coreplast Laitila company to create a smart reflector that can be wirelessly controlled via a mobile phone application. The reflector features sensors, LED lights, wireless charging and communications.

When a pedestrian is approaching a dangerous crossing the reflector can be made to blink and alert car drivers. In the future, the reflector could communicate directly with smart traffic lights or cars to warn e.g. a turning truck driver that a pedestrian is in the area of a crossing.

The smart reflector is an example of enhancing everyday objects with new functionalities by connecting them to the Internet of Things (IoT). For example, a group of kindergarten children can be given a common indicator colour that makes it easier to keep the group together. If one child wanders too far from the others, his or her reflector can be made to blink in a bright warning colour. It is also possible to connect the reflector to other on-line activities such as mobile gaming, which could make it more attractive among teenagers. Reflectors could be set to shine in a common tribal colour or to react in real-time to gaming actions and to the track to which the user is listening.

"We are actively seeking new concepts and ideas based on which IoT technology can be used to create new types of services and bring a little more magic into our everyday lives," explained Vesa Pentikäinen, Research Team Leader at VTT.

The smart reflector prototype will be publicly presented for the first time at Coreplast Laitila's stand (Hall 4.2, stand B15) at the Paperworld 2016 Trade Show in Frankfurt, Germany.

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