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Taxi flag

Now you see me
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This is a pen which can extend like those pointers in meetings (a bit like a car aerial), so it is very small and easily stowed in the top pocket or handbag.
LEDs are spaced at even distances along the extended pen, and when the pen is waved up and down the LEDs light up in a timed sequence to show the word "TAXI".

Just to be clear, it doesn't spell out T then A etc. but draws the top row of the T, A, X and I, then the next row etc. until the bottom. So the pen is waved in the approximately horizontal orientation. In the up-waving direction, the rows are reverse flashed so that 'TAXI' is always upright.

Inside the pen is a small weighted toggle switch that detects acceleration up or down. This triggers the start of the timed flashing of the appropriate LEDs. It is up to the person to wave at about the right speed to get the best effect.

I wonder if the waving could supply enough power to also light the LEDs, like those shake torches? I suspect that would be too heavy

Ling, Dec 07 2005

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       This is to, um, what? Signal you want a taxi? Signal you are a taxi?   

       I like the idea, but just holding you arm up or waving is good enough for NYC taxies, so not much improvement there. One issue in NY is that not all taxis will go to the outer boros (they're obliged to by law, of course, but who's going to argue). Having a light wand that spelt out "Forest Hills" or "Williamsburg" might save some kerb-side arguments.
DrCurry, Dec 07 2005
  

       [DrCurry] //Signal you want a taxi?//...yes, I hope so.
I like your further idea. If there was some way of programming your more common destinations, that would be useful. Maybe good for hitch-hikers, too.
Ling, Dec 08 2005
  

       I've seen things very like this, as clocks and as gear for raves. They move the fiber optic side-to-side so it looks like a Chinese fan with writing on it. I think I've seen some that have the LED stick on the end of a string, so the message appears in a big circle. It should be possible to program "Forest Hills" into one of them.   

       I've always liked to flag down taxis with a bit of style, so this may be good, or may be pointless. Certainly it is creative.   

       I suggest a simple LED light with no moving text, in a color or sequence of colors that everyone agrees is the taxi-summoning color. Purple, maybe.
baconbrain, Dec 08 2005
  

       Yes a programable on of these would be just the ticket. +   
      
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