That’s right, the Wink Bar from Velco is a smart handlebar with built-in lights to help navigate the city and be sure you are seen on the road. The connected handlebar is entirely self-contained making it easy to pop onto you bike to bring built-in smart bike function in a low profile package. Paired with the Wink app you can use it to signal turn-by-turn navigation with its bar top indicator lights, for security through the app’s tracking features & a built-in alarm, or just for its standard front-facing head light to be sure you can see & be seen riding around at night. The Wink has just launched a crowdfunding campaign of IndieGogo, so hop past the break for the details & a closer look at its winking…
The Wink Bar comes in two aluminum handlebar versions – a 31.8mm Flat & 25.4mm Urban cruiser bar – to give a simple to install all-in-one solution for lighting, hands-free navigation, and security, backed by a bar end-mounted 1800mAh battery that is said to offer 3 weeks of operation before needing to be recharged by USB. For safety on the road the Wink integrates a 225 lumen headlight setup with two front facing lights, which are programmed to come on automatically as it gets dark while you are riding.
To find your way around the city, Wink bars connect to your mobile phone via Bluetooth LE 4.2 and are controlled by a Wink app. After you set a destination in the app, the two LED lights on top of the bar will help navigate your turns offering left, right, forward & back signaling, through a variety of solid & flashing patterns, even indicating how far until the turn.
With those same LED lights that offer navigation support, there is also a unique colored LED that can be used to indicate an incoming call, text, or other configured notification.
For theft prevention the Wink bar can be set to notify your phone when the bike is moved after you’ve left it locked up, and also includes a loud (92dB) alarm inside the bar that will sound if the bike is ridden away after locking it. If the thief manages to get away, the Wink Bar will automatically track your bike via the bar to help recover it (with international tracking coverage through a 4 band GSM card that includes free global data tracking). Locking the bike is easy, either through Bluetooth and your paired mobile device or with a physical RFID VelcoTag key fob that comes with each bar.
The Wink App for either iOS or Android itself offers ride tracking features, where you can see your ride history, a breakdown of stats such as money saved vs. if you were driving, total distances and times riding, even estimate calories burned riding, all thanks to your handlebar tracking you. What a bizarre and cool world we live in now.
The Wink Bar is being pre-sold now on Indiegogo, starting at $149 for the first 100 super early birds, then at $174 for the next hundred and $194 after that, with ultimate retail price expected to be $264 once it goes on sale in the fall.
The roughly 200g handlebars in either silver or black are expected to be shipped to backers in September 2017.