Hammerhead, A Heads-Up Display With Flashing Lights To Help Cyclists Navigate


Ever tried using an iPhone or Android phone to navigate with GPS through crowded streets? It’s pretty difficult, even for a veteran cyclist like me, to split my focus between the road and tiny symbols on the phone’s tiny screen.

Plugging in to a headset to hear turn-by-turn directions sometimes works, but cycling with headphones can also be a pain (not to mention illegal in places under certain conditions).

The answer, of course, is a heads-up display like Google Glass; but until it’s ready, there’s the Hammerhead, a light-powered navigation aid with some other cool tricks up its sleeve.

Hammerhead’s companion iPhone app can receive crowdsourced bike routes from (we assume) other users; a flashing light on either the right or left side of the stalk tells you to turn left or right, keeping you on the route.

But the gizmo also has a few other tricks up its stalk. With its optional Bike Share Clip, Hammerhead’s light array can reveal how much time is left on a bike share rental or direct the rider to the nearest bike station. Hammerhead partnered with bike-share outfits B-Cycle and Canadian-based Bixi, which runs bike-share systems in NYC, Boston, London, Montreal and other major cities across the globe.

Not a commuter? Hammerhead will also link with popular cycle fitness sites Strava and MapMyRide, and display the rider’s pace relative to other riders who’ve uploaded their times for the particular segment being currently ridden.

It’ll even double as a bike light — though we’re assuming it’ll have limited power, enough to let riders be seen by others, rather than letting them see what’s ahead of them on the road.

The Hammerhead isn’t yet for sale, and oddly, its mostly South African designers (founder Piet Morgan’s bio says he was a classmate and friend of Chris Froome, the 2013 Tour de France winner who grew up in South Africa) have opted to crowdfund their project on the obscure new Dragon Innovation crowdsourcing site, rather than any of the other assorted regulars like Indiegogo or Kickstarter. The devices are $75, or $78 with an included Bike Share Clip.

About the author

Eli MilchmanWhen he was eight, Eli Milchman came home from frolicking in the Veld one day and was given an Atari 400. Since then, his fascination with technology has made him an intrepid early adopter of whatever charming new contraption crosses his path — which explains why he's Cult of Mac's test editor-at-large. He calls San Francisco home, where he works as a journalist and photographer. Eli has contributed to the pages of Wired.com and BIKE Magazine, among others. Hang with him on Twitter.

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