Cyclists trying to navigate unfamiliar city streets have a growing number of options available to avoid yanking out their smartphone at every fork in the road. Signaling devices that mount on the handlebars and built-in LED indicators are just a couple of recent examples, and now UK-based startup Onomo is looking to get in on the action with its Haize navigation system. Working much like a compass, the device points the rider in the direction of their destination but leaves them to work out the route.
Haize is a small, circular device that is mounted to the handlebars of any bike by way of a wrap-around rubber band. Users enter their destination in the Haize smartphone app (iOS and Android) after pairing it over Bluetooth 4.0, and a circular LED display measuring 4.25 cm (1.67 in) across comes to life with a pair of dots.
Kind of like a mini-radar for your bike, the outer dot indicates the destination, while the central dot represents the rider's location in relation to it. As for how they go about getting there, the rider is mostly left to their own devices, though the central dot will flash faster the closer they get, or turn red should they are actually ride in the wrong direction.
Haize does actually have a navigation mode, too, where it sets a specific route and offers the rider turn-by-turn directions. A line of LEDs appear along the edge of the display to indicate the direction of the next turn, which disappear one-by-one while the central dot starts to flash as they arrive at the corner.
Haize strikes us a nice solution for those that like exploring a new city or area while keeping their bearings somewhat, rather than the time-poor looking for a most direct route. Nevertheless, the app also stores more detailed statistics about the trip for viewing afterwards for more attentive cyclists, as well as saving favorite routes.
Haize is charged via Micro USB, with each charge said to be good for two weeks of regular usage. With functioning prototypes in-hand, Onomo has taken to Kickstarter to raise the funds required for commercial production. An early pledge of £50 (US$76) will have one shipped your way in June 2016 if everything runs as planned.
You can check out the pitch video below.
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