With a lot of endurance and adventure sports taking place in low resource environments where access to power is finite and technology can easily fail, we set out to rethink high visibility from first principles. We bypassed battery powered technology, heat seeking cameras and infrared, and instead started with an operating system that athletes have available at all times and that’s least likely to fail – the human eye.

In daylight we use photopic vision where cone cells in the back of our eyes convert different wavelengths of light into the perception of colour. These wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation make up the visible spectrum and are measured in nanometers (nm). Our perception of what we call visible light starts with violet at around 390nm and ends with red at around 780nm.

We have three types of cones in our eyes and each type is most sensitive to a particular range of wavelengths. The way these ranges overlap allows us to see a continuous band of colour, but also makes the eye more sensitive to some colours than others. The point where our two most common cones are stimulated almost equally, and the point of maximum sensitivity, is 555nm which sits in the green part of the spectrum.

It’s the most visible colour on earth whether you’re on land or sea, and the same green we’ve replicated for our Nano Meter 555 midlayer. The eye is so sensitive to this colour that you can see it even when it’s just 1 pixel in a sea of 100,000 grey ones.

In low light conditions our colour recognition starts to fail and our pattern recognition system takes over. But even as we switch from photopic vision to scotopic vision our eyes remain highly sensitive to light, and extremely sensitive to moving patterns. We turn complex and abstract patterns into coherent images rapidly and spontaneously. So we’ve embedded twenty Motion Capture Markers into the midlayer to create equally high visibility for low light conditions. You can read more about our Motion Capture Marker system here.

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