Philip McAleese, Co-Founder & CEO of See.Sense
by Philip McAleese, Co-Founder & CEO of See.Sense
I’ve always been interested in how things work. As I child, I was seldom allowed to take anything working apart. So you can imagine my excitement anytime anything broke!
My curiosity, led to a science and mathematics trend in my education. By the time I enrolled for university, I was sure that Physics with Astrophysics was the course for me – intellectual challenge and exploring the deepest mysteries of the universe.
However, I have a practical side too and I wondered how many astrophysicists the world really needs. I hedged my bets and re-enrolled for a degree in Law with Accounting. Within days, thoughts of being buried in tomes of legal documents consumed my mind. It was time for another change, so this time I chose Electronic and Software Engineering.
On completion of university, I landed a job writing air traffic control simulators. It was an exciting two years – flying around in commercial aircraft, working with radar and telemetry. What more could a young graduate want?
Yet again, I was keen to explore and evolve. I moved to London to work in financial software engineering. There I spent many years and rose though the ranks to senior positions at prominent investment banks such as Lehman Brothers and Barclays.
It was while I was a cycle commuter in Singapore that I invented the See.Sense intelligent bicycle light. After a cycling accident, I’d grown tired of drivers saying ‘Sorry mate I didn’t see you’, and set about using my skills in electronic and software design create a bicycle light that used sensor technology to improve my visibility to cars.
After testing the light with local cyclists and consulting with hundreds of cyclists around the world, my wife Irene and I decided to give up our corporate careers and move back to Northern Ireland to establish See.Sense in 2013.
The See.Sense intelligent light was successfully launched on Kickstarter in October, 2013 and was a great success, going on to be stocked with major retailers and used by thousands of cyclists all around the world. I get such great satisfaction hearing from fellow cyclists who I’ve helped to improve their safety and enjoyment of their journey.
With our new cycle light called ICON, we are now also looking at making crowd-sourced data available to cities to help with smart cities initiatives, such as helping to identify where cycling infrastructure or roads can be improved. Technology has helped me pursue my own goals in life and also help others. I highly recommend it.