Guiding gadget shows cyclists where to go – but not how to get there
Many cyclists like to think that they're freer than motorists … better able to go where they want, when they want. If you share that mindset, then you might like the Beeline. It's a navigation device that shows the direction and distance of your destination, but leaves it up to you to figure out how to get there.
Users start by entering the location of their destination on a free iOS/Android app, on a paired smartphone. Waypoints can be added, if stops need to be made along the way. From there, the phone gets tucked away in a backpack or pocket, and the Beeline itself takes over.
Along with a figure showing the distance to destination, its backlit e-paper display simply consists of a swivelling arrow that continuously points toward that location. No turn-by-turn navigational cues are given and no map is displayed, leaving users to zig, zag and sightsee along the way – the device utilizes an integrated magnetometer, accelerometer and gyroscope to compensate for their changes in direction. It can also be switched to time-of-day and speedometer modes.
The water- and shock-resistant Beeline mounts on the handlebars using a simple silicone strap/case, and can reportedly run for up to 30 hours on one charge of its 350-mAh battery (if the backlight isn't used).
Designed in the UK by Tom Putnam and Mark Jenner, the device started out as a Kickstarter project, but has just become commercially available at a price of £99 (about US$121). It can be seen in use, in the video below.
The similar Haize is less expensive, although it's still only available for preorder.