SmartHalo is a smart biking system that lets you focus on what matters the most — the road.
Like a number of other companies who have created hardware solutions to bring older vehicles into the IoT era, one Montreal-based startup is hoping to do the same for bicycles. Those who’d rather not dig deep into their pockets to purchase a new electronic bike can now make their existing one “smart” for roughly $100.
The brainchild of CycleLabs, SmartHalo is a compact device that attaches to the handlebar of your old bike and provides you with easy-to-read GPS, distance, speed and other performance data. Aside from that, the intuitive navigation system will highlight the quickest route to work in the morning and safest way home at night along with a front headlight for enhanced visibility when it gets dark.
“We believe that technology should not be something you have to worry about – it should just work. We’re urban cyclists who wanted to deal with the main problems of biking in cities: navigation and security. We found that the existing solutions right now were just not suited for harsh urban environments,” its creators share.
Among its most notable features is its turn-by-turn navigation system. Simply input your desired location into its accompanying mobile app, tuck your smartphone away and SmartHalo will take care of the rest by guiding you with simple-to-follow directions via an intuitive light between your hands.
As if that wasn’t enough, SmartHalo will automatically monitor your activities. Unlike other trackers on the market today, you’ll never have to hit ’start’ or ’stop.’ Instead, the device will track your progress as soon as you begin pedaling, then display the detailed metrics in the app for later review. It even lets you set goals using any of its parameters, like calories burned, and then view your progress in real-time on your handlebars as you pedal.
Have you ever missed an important call or email because street noise and road vibration made them hard to notice? Well, you’ll be happy to learn that SmartHalo can also serve as your personal assistant while on-the-go. The mounted unit will notify you of any incoming calls and messages, and alert you should there be an impending storm allowing you to take cover.
As any urban cyclist will tell you, theft is an all too common occurrence. Fortunately, when you’re not around, SmartHalo will keep your two-wheeler safe from any burglars by triggering an alarm if its internal motion sensor detects movement. Moreover, the gadget can only be unlocked with a special “key” provided with the product and will seamlessly deactivate as you approach the bike.
“We designed SmartHalo to be beautiful inside and out. There is no on/off button – its sophisticated sensors detect your presence. When you finish your ride, it automatically shuts down. This leads to amazing battery life, to keep going as long as you do,” the CycleLabs team explains.
With standard use, its battery can last for approximately three weeks before having to be recharged via USB. In terms of hardware, SmartHalo is equipped with a Bluetooth Low Energy module for communication, low energy LEDs, an accelerometer, magnetometer and gyroscope, as well as a crypto authentication chip for enhanced security.
Ready to make your bike smarter? Then race over to SmartHalo’s Kickstarter campaign, where the CycleLabs crew is currently seeking $50,000. The first batch of shipments is expected to get underway in May 2016.