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Choose Your Own Adventure with BeeLine turn by turn GPS Unit

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Beeline Bar

Do you tend to get lost or maybe just like to explore? Does putting your fragile phone on your bars scare you, or do you just not want to look like a fred? Whatever the case, BeeLine has distilled GPS navigation down to the simplest form and gives the rider all the power to decide how to get to their destination. 

If exploring unfamiliar streets on a bicycle,  making your own route, or having the simplest turn by turn directions sounds good, keep reading…..

Beeline keys

Imagine wanting to go somewhere on your bike that you aren’t sure how to get to and you like exploring. Mark Jenner & Tom Putnam have started a Kickstarter campaign to raise funds for their simplified version of a GPS navigation system – the BeeLine. You may ask why not just toss your phone on your bars and use its GPS. Well, the phone directs you using the fastest route, and though it might be faster, it might also incorporate a street with no shoulder and a lot of traffic as many common bicycle routes are common for cars as well. Oh top of that, you might turn down the wrong street as you attempt to see the microscopic streets on the map while paying attention to your riding. 

Beeline 1

BeeLine claims they can help you navigate in a simpler yet more fun manner that could be safer as well all thanks to a little moving triangle on a puck. Let’s break down the differences between GPS navigation and the BeeLine. A GPS gives you step by step “commands”. The BeeLine gives you a continuous “guideline”. The GPS is all business and has a goal to get the job done in the most efficient manner possible step by step. Through directional bearing, the BeeLine points you in the general direction letting you choose a street to your liking to turn down.

Beeline Collage

You never have to look and see what specific street to turn down. Just look at what direction you’re supposed to head and turn when you want keeping your eyes on the road…. as well as the scenery.

Beeline Waypoints

A pretty cool feature on the app is that you can set various way-points you want to incorporate in your route so you have better control over what part of town you pass through or if you’re visiting a new city you can pick a particular site you want to see along the way. 

The BeeLine will run for 1 – 3 months with average use on a single charge. When you don’t need navigation, BeeLine can show you your speed and distance traveled, or simply act as a clock. The Kickstarter says the Beeline should start shipping out in August 2016 and currently a pledge of $60 (£39) will get you one of the guiding pucks.

Beeline Kickstarter

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joe-semity sam
joe-semity sam
7 years ago

neat. this sounds fun.

maybe scoping out a map before going on the venture would be a good thing so one doesnt get stuck with a large land mass between them and their destination. im thinking water, foresty areas, roads that meander forever but are close to where you need to go until the road suddenly stops and you are faced with a bone-death cliff.

this would be kick ass for urban areas.

water chestnut III
7 years ago

Man those darn Phone GPS’ will tell you exactly how to get from point A-B, it even knows about dead ends and one way streets BORING! Thank the lord for the Bee Line, because now I might end up down a dead end and have to backtrack to find a better street, but hey what an adventure! I’ll leave my handy dandy always charged compass at home, That will show me a heading, but I guess I cant mount it to my handlebar. This solves all of my navigational woes, thank you Oprah, thank you Jesus!

gjj
gjj
7 years ago

Fingers crossed for a windowsphone app, I want one, just not enough to go iPhone or android :/

myke
myke
7 years ago

hmmm…… I guess….. The major issue is in here in LA / OC there will be streets that have bike lanes and a lot of dangerous ones that don’t. so there is a lot of risk if you know there area and you just decide to turn down a street with traffic going 50-60mph and no sidewalk or turn out. or turn down a dead end. adventure or waste of time. i certainly wouldn’t want to use it in LA.

Findus
Findus
7 years ago

Beeline turned up just a day or so after Haize, which is very similar:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/onomo/haize-a-compass-reinvented-navigation-for-urban-cy

Eric Hansen
Eric Hansen
7 years ago

Not saying this is a *bad* idea, but your characterization of GPS devices and phones is a bit disingenuous. GPSes don’t automatically guide you down the fastest route; they’ve all included a ‘bicycle mode’ for a few years now. Specifically Google Maps, available on any phone, has particularly good bicycle routing. The Cyclo 505 cycling GPS has options for EXACTLY how you want to be routed, and you can set them up per bike profile, too. Your MTB or gravel grinder can _prefer_ unpaved roads. Your city bike can _avoid_ major streets. It’s quite customizable.

keville
keville
7 years ago

I definitely agree with the sentiments above — traditional mapping engines and bicycle-specific path knowledge can be a powerful combination for routing. When you’re in a completely unfamiliar area, finding an “actually-good” bike route can be an exhausting cartographic research project. This can be true for areas across the spectrum from densely urban, suburban and wilderness.

I really like the concept though, and the Kickstarter page really shows off a polished design and sense of purpose for the product.

This quote (from the Kickstarter) is interesting:

“For the occasions where you have to go via a specific point, e.g. a bridge over a river, we’ve built in the option to add intermediate way points to your journey to ensure you never get stuck.”

One could easily imagine a hybrid navigation mode where it allows you to navigate freely between some waypoints using the “compass” mode, and between others with more “traditional” turn-by-turn prompts.

Tom
Tom
7 years ago

A compass for a fiver, a landmark and a hint of common sense…

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