25 Mar SmartHalo Transforms a Bike Into a SmartBike
SmartHalo is running a Kickstarter campaign that has more than doubled its $50,000 startup goal. The main function of the device is as a turn by turn navigation aid. After inputting your destination into the app the LED lights on top of SmartHalo tell you when to turn, whether you need a full or slight turn, and when to turn around. The halo glows in a full green circle when you’ve reached your destination. The app also acts as a locator if you forget where you’ve parked your bike.
Fitness metrics are also tracked through the app – time, distance, speed, calories burned, and elevations are logged with a map of your ride. The halo constantly tracks these metrics instead of requiring you to start and stop an app. The light function has a sensor starting the 250 lumen LEDs as soon as the sun goes down. Battery life is stated as three weeks from the 2000 milliAmp hour battery, and the device recharges through USB. Both Android and iOS platforms will be supported at launch. Firmware updates will be done through the phone using Bluetooth connection.
The personal assistant function of the halo gives call notifications and weather alerts when storms are coming. An alarm flashes red and sounds off when SmartHalo’s motion sensor feels movement. The user’s smartphone acts as the alarm deactivation, and a specific user tap code can be used to turn off the alarm after phone batteries die.
My main concern with the SmartHalo is attachment to the handlebar. It looks like the unit is intended to be removed while charging, using what the campaign calls its ‘military-grade locking system’. This is meant to keep your bike secure but repeated assembly and disassembly feels like it would place too much stress on the plastic housing componenents.
SmartHalo’s design is built around the idea of simplicity. Functionally it reminds me of an Apple product with its minimalism, but the team’s great design challenge was to build a unit that fit every bike in the center of the handlebar. Speed traveled isn’t an issue for the app and its sensors so a long term goal of the team is to adapt the technology to motorcycles.