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New bicycle GPS shows the way without distracting user

Finding your way while riding a bike is not always easy – just like driving a car, it requires a simple system that enables users to concentrate on the road while getting directions. This new smart device launched by a Canadian firm helps users navigate and doubles up as a burglar alarm. It is easy to fit onto the handlebars of a bike.

“Cycling in the city is not getting more dangerous. We feel it’s actually getting a bit safer because cycling is now considered as a legitimate way of transportation. But we feel there are still some aspects that are dangerous, notably getting navigation data to know where you’re going. So by having SmartHalo on your bike you get very simple and clear instructions,” says design director Maxime Couturier.

Users connect to the device using a smartphone app. The circular screen displays GPS information using a ring of light. Arcs of green light on either side indicate left and right turns, while a red semi-circle at the bottom prompts the rider to make a U-turn.

Developers say the device is based on simplicity. According to them, existing GPS systems for bikes are overly complicated and distract users from keeping their eyes on the road – hence the minimalistic interface. The device also tracks cyclists’ average speed, distance covered, total elevation and calories burned.

At night a light automatically switches on, and there is a built-in alarm system. An internal motion sensor detects when the bike is being tampered with by someone else than the owner of the smartphone connected to it and emits an alarm to warn off potential thieves. Users are recognised by their phones to ensure the alarm doesn’t sound when they are in close proximity.

Battery time is estimated at three weeks for normal usage. Τhe device on sale online for around 100 euros.