IT & Systems Management

Let the Hammerhead bike navigation system light your way

Much like a hammerhead shark's tool-shaped head helps it maneuver through the sea, the new Hammerhead bike navigation system helps you navigate streets and trails. Unlike a hammerhead shark, it does so by blinking a series of LED lights to indicate which direction you should turn.

Released to crowdfunding site Dragon Innovation on Wednesday, the Hammerhead system is the world's first social bike navigation tool--in addition to letting you know where to take that left turn to Albuquerque, it also lets you share your rides and routes with friends and followers, and works in real-time with apps such as Strava and MapMyRide which allow you to compete against friends or strangers. Perhaps most impressively, it can also help guide you to meet up with your pals while on the road--which means you'll never find yourself pulled over on the side of the bike lane shouting into your phone, "NO! South EAST 14th Street. SOUTH EAST!" Not that I've ever had that happen.

The Hammerhead system, which consists of the navigation tool, a stem mount, and a universal handlebar mount, also has a companion app which allows the system to sync to your iOS or Android smartphone in order to access the phone's GPS. The unit can then help you discover a route based on several filters including hills, distance, scenery, or difficulty; you can also upload your favorite rides or rides your friend's favorite routes.

The Hammerhead will then guide you through the ride using LEDs to indicate turn-by-turn directions; it can also show you the start, end, and goal speed for each portion of your ride, and will work on trail rides (via an internal compass). The waterproof, shockproof device uses Bluetooth LE to connect and promises a long battery life: the device itself can run for over 20 hours before it will need a recharge (via USB), and Hammerhead says a smartphone can run for over five hours while working with the Hammerhead. It also has a built-in headlight and side lights to help keep you safe.

Don't have a bike? Not a problem--Hammerhead is designed to work with a variety of bike share systems. You can simply snap the unit onto your rented bike and Hammerhead will guide you on your way. It will also remind you how much time you have left on your bike rental and direct you to the nearest docking station when you're ready to turn your ride back in. And because Dragon Innovation works with companies even after the funding campaign is over, it's pretty likely that funders will see their product shipped on the expected March 2014 ship date.


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