Smartphone-based navigation systems can certainly help cyclists find their way around the city, but not everyone wants to risk attaching their precious phone to their rattly handlebars, nor do they like having to repeatedly glance down to read the map on its screen. That's why Schwinn has just announced its CycleNav device. It guides cyclists using verbal cues and simple directional arrows.
Users start with the free CycleNav app on their iOS or Android smartphone, using it to enter their destination address. They're then presented with multiple routes on an onscreen map, which they can choose between based on displayed factors such as distance, estimated duration of trip, and terrain covered. Once a route is chosen, they can also indicate any stops they'd like to make along the way, entering them as waypoints.
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The phone can then be safely stuffed away in a pocket or bag, communicating with the bar-mounted CycleNav using Bluetooth. Riders will subsequently be guided turn-by-turn via the device's flashing left- or right-turn signals, along with audible instructions (i.e: "Turn right, now"). If they can't quite make out one of those instructions, they can just press a button to hear it again.
One charge of the device's integrated battery should be good for about 10 hours of use. The CycleNav also features a built-in headlight.
For cyclists who care about such things, the app keeps track of their rides, recording stats such as distance, duration and calories burned. Although that app will be available on the App Store and Google Play as of January 15th, the device itself won't be in stores until this spring (Northern Hemisphere). It will be priced at the earlier-mentioned US$60, including its quick-release handlebar mount. If you're interested, you might also want to check out the similar Hammerhead.
More information on the CycleNav is available in the video below.