Insert Coin: YouTurn accelerometer-based turn signal system for cyclists

In Insert Coin, we look at an exciting new tech project that requires funding before it can hit production. If you'd like to pitch a project, please send us a tip with "Insert Coin" as the subject line.

Many of us who bike in the city ride in constant fear of being tapped by a taxi cab, or crushed by a bus. There's no way to completely eradicate the risk of being run over by a much larger motorized vehicle, but making yourself easily visible -- both at night and during the day -- can certainly make a difference. Smart cyclists use hand signals long before they need to make a turn, but the YouTurn signal system aims to make those indicators difficult for drivers to miss, with an accelerometer-based gadget that illuminates an arrow in the direction of your turn. If you want to turn left, for example, simply point your hand to the left, and the device will flash a giant yellow chevron. The prototype you'll see in the video below is integrated with a glove, though the final version will simply attach to the back of your hand, and can be stored in a bag when you're not on your bike. There's no mention of durability or waterproofing, though since the inventor's objective is to enhance safety, we imagine he'll be taking precautions to avoid electrocution in the rain.

YouTurn inventor Jack O'Neal launched a Kickstarter page to help fund his project, and is accepting preorders at $50 a pop. There's no final pricing listed at this point, but at 50 bucks for a first-run YouTurn, we were happy to make the pledge. We hope to see O'Neal meet his funding goal and send these to production, but until then, we'll keep looking both ways and hoping for the best.

Previous project update: The Prosthetic eye digital camera, our last Insert Coin project, has exceed its funding goal of $15,000. Kickstarter backers can join Tanya for a celebration in New York city on Sunday, or Tuesday in San Francisco.