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October 29, 2015. Here’s an unusual Better Cheaper Slower opportunity: unusually cool, functional and possibly life-saving jackets, vests, coats and backpacks. Say what?

I just saw the prototypes of these innovative Lumenus products. LED-illuminated apparel for walkers, runners, cyclists and motorcyclists. These ain’t no dumb-flashing-lights-reflective-tape deals. Nope, this is smart lighting that automatically programs the embedded LEDs to work as turn signals and brake signals – and let you and others know when you’re coming to an intersection. To provide the highest degree of wearable safety lighting you can imagine. A pretty wonderful thing if you exercise – or just take walks – after dark. And, uh, yes – they’re actually very good looking, comfortable and weather-protective, too.

Better than anything like this. Actually, there isn’t anything like this.

Cheaper because if you pre-order soon, you get a $100 discount.

Slower because these wow-inducing things won’t be delivered until Spring.

What’s the deal? The start-up company that makes these is financing its initial production run via a KickStarter campaign. Your advance payment enables them to make your jacket – and more. For this, you get a huge discount. And their never-ending gratitude.

If you’re wondering how the heck this works, well, yup, there’s an app that connects your Lumenus wearable technology to your phone and, in turn, to Google Maps. And there are accelerometers to detect when your bike is slowing down and trigger the “brake lights”. And more. It’s all here. And it’s all very cool. Very useful. And it might save your life. Or the life of someone you love who’s getting this as a Christmas gift certificate from you.

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