The SmartHalo is a new way to look at connecting biking and technology, pairing with a smartphone to guides you to your destination, turn-by-turn, for a stress-free riding experience. Its unique design functions without a screen – everything shown with an intuitive and minimal halo of light. It also seamlessly tracks your cycling activity data and automatically lights your way at night.
The SmartHalo more than doubled its initial funding goal on Kickstarter back in September in it’s first three days, and by the end of that campaign had raised almost $400,000. But now it is back in Indiegogo to give more cyclists a chance to get in on early bird specials ahead of its June 2016 public release. Follow the colorful, flashing halo past the break for a video of its features, how it works, and how to get ahold of one…
The people behind the new SmartHalo think that they can get more people on bikes if they can make them more confident and feel more safe. We’ve seen similar rethinking of cycling navigation recently with the Choose Your Own Adventure BeeLine GPS, but the SmartHalo aims to take integration a step further.
They think that integrating tech into smart bikes is a big way to do that. But they don’t want to add much cost, complication, demand on your battery, or even to have to change the way you do things. Oddly enough they want to make bikes smarter with less technology. So while most bike tech goes for more data and detailed screens, they’ve pointed towards incredibly simple display of essentially a circle and a dot.
Navigation with the SmartHalo is as simple as following the direction of the circle of LED indicator lights. However if the entire unit pulls a HAL on you, glows solid red, and says “I’m sorry, Dave. I’m afraid I can’t do that”, it’s probably best to just ditch that bike and run.
This thing is all about simplicity. No worrying about starting and stopping activity tracking, the SmartHalo sorts it out on its own, automatically. No need to remember your headlight too. SmartHalo includes an automatic, user presence and nighttime activated 200 lumen light.
While most smart biking accessories need to be taken off after each trip or risk being stolen, the SmartHalo is designed to be “theft proof”. Linked to your smart phone it is unusable by anyone except the owner. And against direct theft, it uses a simple motion-sensitive alarm, that they say is difficult enough to shut up that a bike thief isn’t likely to stick around to try an shut it off. To keep track of your bike, the paired app will remind you where you last parked. Optional to turn on or off, but the SmartHalo syncs with your phone and can display call, SMS, and even weather notifications.
SmartHalo connects with your phone using Bluetooth Low Energy. It has no on/off button. When the rider is away, it automatically goes into a deep sleep mode. Then, as soon as you grab your bike, an internal sensor wakes it. That means that under normal commuting use it can last up to three weeks. Then easily pop it off the bike with your unique key, and recharge it by USB.
$150 at retail, it is still available to pre-order at Indiegogo for just $120 (a bit better than the current deals on the rebooted Kickstarter it seems.)