Sunday, March 18, 2012

New Cycling Navigation Device, Beeline, Launches


With the prevalence of GPS technology, sometimes it seems like we have lost the ability to really enjoy the journey and explore. With a mechanical voice constantly telling you to turn hear or there, rides suddenly can become stressful and even dangerous. However, a new GPS device, Beeline, is bringing some of the adventure and spontaneity back to finding your way around.

Originally launched via a successful Kickstarter campaign, this unique device works with your phone to provide directions in an unusual way: via an arrow literally pointing in the direction you need to go. The device was created in the UK by developers looking for a way to help cyclists take more control of their rides. The device, which pairs with an app on your phone, allows cyclists to choose their own path, bike safely with fewer distractions, and actually helps users build mental maps over time.

“Beeline… provides instructions that keep riders on course, but leaves the exact route decision-making to them,” said Tom Putnam, co-founder of Beeline in a press release. “This style of navigation brings adventure and exploration back to bike rides, whilst providing a steady steer on direction. It allows riders to take charge of their ride, discover new places and see familiar places in a new light.”

The small Beeline device is compatible with all handlebars and can be easily carried to and from destinations with a convenient shield to protect the screen. The display is sunlight-readable e-paper and can display the time, direction and distance of a destination, battery life, and other things. It is also water and shock resistant, making it safe to use if it suddenly starts raining on your ride, and can last for around four weeks on a single charge.

Here’s a video from the developers showing how it works:

Beeline has been officially released to the public, and although it was created in Britain, it will work worldwide. Beeline is available in three different colors (gray, red, and blue) and can be purchased here for around $123 (£99). For more information on Beeline, visit the website.

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