A bizarre ’emoji jacket’ prototype has been developed that lights up with different symbols on the back intended to help cyclists share their mood with drivers.
The concept — which uses a programmable LED panel — has been unveiled by the European wing of US motor firm Ford as part of their ‘Share the Road’ campaign.
Not only can the jacket display various mood symbols, but it can also present hazard warnings and indicators for when the cyclist is about to make a turn.
The jacket’s display is controlled via a wireless remote, which has been designed to attach to the wearer’s bicycle handlebars.
Ford said that this allows wearers to change what is being displayed without having to fully remove their hands from their cycle.
The jacket — which was created in tandem with industrial design firm Designworks — has been unveiled as part of Ford’s Share the Road campaign, which promotes safe cycling and increased dialogue between cyclists and other road users.
The scheme also hopes to encourage more people to use their bicycles for short journeys as a means to help protect the environment.
Emoji and language expert Neil Cohn of Tilburg University in the Netherlands said that the rise of emoji as a modern language made it ideal for use in this kind of way.
‘Emojis have become a fundamental part of how we use language,’ he added.
‘Whether used to convey facial expressions, humour, or sarcasm, they have become integral to our ability to express ourselves and quickly.’
‘This jacket created in partnership with Ford Share the Road allows riders to express their feelings and creates an important emotional link between them and other road users.’