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"Around-the-Bend" Mirrors

On my campus, there was this one convex mirror that faced a building exit. I never was told the exact purpose of this single mirror (of which no others existed on campus), but I imagine that its core purpose was to help you see whether a vehicle was coming from around the bend of the building and passing along this narrow pathway so that you could avoid stepping out in front of it. That said, it created the added benefit of allowing you to see if there were any individuals passing by. In an area where a woman's safety may be threatened by another individual, it would be a value add to have these types of mirrors in particularly windy or creeping corridors and pathways where someone might easily be caught off guard from behind.

Photo of Laura Westerhold Baker
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This isn't an extraordinarily novel idea since these mirrors are already widely used throughout the US for safety purposes. I just don't know whether they are also used broadly for security purposes around the planet.

Convex mirrors allow users to see around otherwise dark and potentially dangerous corners and bends. They retail for as little as $50 and could likely be produced quite cheaply.

What is the need you are trying to solve?

In a case when someone may not be able to have a clear view around a dark or winding space and may risk being caught off guard, this type of mirror would create greater transparency around corners.

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Photo of luisa covaria
Team

Laura, what a simple and great idea.
It would be amazing if you could collaborate with some community members in different countries and get their opinion on it. Maybe you could send a sample and see what happens in different cities?
Looking forward to see this idea develop.

Photo of Laura Westerhold Baker
Team

Thanks so much, Luisa. That's a great idea! I will circle back a little later today/tomorrow to see if I can strike up some conversation in some areas where this might be most useful. :-)

Photo of Jamie Beck Alexander
Team

I agree and would love to see what specific uses this kind of product could have in cities in developing countries. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with, Laura!

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Loving the sketch!

Photo of Laura Westerhold Baker
Team

Thank you, Meena! I love the app Paper by FiftyThree for these types of quick sketches.

Photo of Meena Kadri
Team

Way to go. Fab to know you used Paper for this. Genius app for sure :^)

Photo of Courtney Puddester
Team

Love this idea Laura. It's quick, cheap, and easy to implement, which makes this likely to be used in cities and campuses!

Photo of Laura Westerhold Baker
Team

Thanks, Courtney! Your story also makes a compelling case. Others should check it out. Sorry to hear you are dealing with that. :-(