Sunday, March 18, 2012

SmartHalo Uses Light for Bike Navigation

smarthalo2

Cyclists don’t have any shortage of options for GPS equipment to help find their way, but sometimes when you’re trying to navigate through busy city streets, the last thing you want it a complicated device hooked up to your handlebars with a million different numbers and statistics included. Those cycling GPS devices are great on the trail, but urban cyclists might find it a bit much.

However, a company called CycleLabs launched a Kickstarter recently for a unique device called SmartHalo which not only provides simple and easy to understand navigation, but also a host of other connected features. It basically turns your bike into a smart bike and provides additional security features.

The coolest thing for me is the simplistic way that the device gives directions. The SmartHalo uses lights around the outside edge of the device to indicate which direction to turn. Rather than using a GPS chip and expensive equipment like that, the device instead syncs with your smartphone and uses Google Maps for navigation. The device doesn’t seem to have any ability to track actual route, however.

 

Here are a few of the things that SmartHalo can do:

  • turn-by-turn navigation
  • automatic tracking (time, distance, average speed, calories, elevation)
  • smart night light that turns on and off on its own
  • call notifications
  • weather alerts
  • alarm system
  • tamper proof removal system
  • fits any standard bike
  • Weatherproof
  • 3 week battery life (USB recharge removable part)

Personally, I can definitely see how this device would be incredibly useful for casual cyclists or people who use their bikes more as a means of transportation than fitness or racing.

Unlike some other Kickstarters we’ve talked about, the project is more than 100% funded at the time of writing. While it’s still a risk, I might venture to say not as much as some other projects that we’ve talked about. Of course, there’s still a lot to this little device and I kind of wonder if it’s not in the “too good to be true” category. Only time will tell, I suppose.

Still, if you’re interested in backing the project, it should still be going for a couple more weeks and out of the $50,000 goal has already raised more than $100,000. While there aren’t any indications as to what exactly it will cost when it finally comes to market, Kickstarter backers will qualify for a product at the $100 level.

For more information on SmartHalo, visit the website or check out the Kickstarter Campaign page.

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