Angella Mackey‘s passions are cycling and wearable light.
While living in Toronto she started dreaming of a coat that would have integrated LEDs for safer after-dark cycling.
Mackey wanted her designs to be elegant and practical. Her first coat was a wool thigh-high design that was neither too sporty nor too geeky. It had integrated LED lights that were activated by the tap of a hand.
But Mackey did much of the tailoring for her first coats by hand, and taking materials and labor into account, she had to price the coats above what she wanted to.
After a move to Sweden, Mackey went through seven prototypes. Finally in 2011 she introduced the Vega coat for $449.
It didn’t reach as broad an audience as she wanted, so Mackey went back to the drawing board. Working with Toronto’s Social Body Lab, she helped design a magnetized and reflective leather accessory that can attach to almost any type of jacket or bag, backpack or back pants pocket.
Vega Edge provides extra visibility for cyclists, runners and walkers. It uses an Arduino-based lightboard, and its LEDs run on a coin battery and uses four strong magnets. Two shapes, a trapezoid and a rectangle version of the light accessory will be offered if Mackey’s Kickstarter is successful.
The lights in the Vega Edge can be white, green, red, or blue. In its current design the light will last only about 20 hours on a single battery. If the Kickstarter takes in an additional $10,000 (Canadian) the design team will integrate a rechargeable USB mechanism into the Edge.
The current pledge to receive an Edge light is approximately US$50.