Invention turns cyclists' hands into turn signals

Invention turns cyclists' hands into turn signals »Play Video

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Jack O'Neal calls his invention for bicyclists YouTurn.

"It basically turns their hand into a turn signal," he said.

The idea popped into his head in May.

"That day, I was coming home, and there was a bicyclist in front of me. And I saw them moving their hand for the left turn signal, and a light bulb went off," O'Neal said.

His device is just a prototype for now, but he wants to get a finished product to market.

O'Neal set up a page on kickstarter.com to seek $50,000 in startup capital. If the funding goal is reached, O'Neal will be able to crank out a first batch.

But would cyclists buy it?

"Yeah I think it could help," said cyclist Jim Carlton. "I mean, anything that increases visibility is going to help cyclists."

Cyclist Jay Eckhardt said the YouTurn would be "good for commuters because I'm riding at night half the time myself getting home, so I'd certainly use it."

"The more illumination you get, the better," said Dan Mueller. "It's going to be for people to see you. You can see them, but they don't always see you."

But would Mueller buy the YouTurn?

"Well," he said, "it depends on the price."

O'Neal said he doesn't  yet know what the retail price for his device would be, but he estimates $50 or less.

"There are just so many bicyclists in Portland," O'Neal said. "I'm always riding behind somebody on the road who's on a bike riding in front of me and I'm always afraid they're going to turn out in front of me without notice, especially at night.