Following hot on the footsteps of the Haize digital cycling compass we told you about earlier this week comes the BeeLine, a connected compass-style navigation device. It has launched on Kickstarter this week and is already halfway to reaching its £60,000 funding goal.
The BeeLine takes the GPS signal from a connected and compatible smartphone and allows you to input your final destination. Instead of providing turn-by-turn directions like a car satnav, the BeeLine acts like a compass and indicates the direction of your final destination, but leaving the choice of route entirely up to you.
The small screen displays an arrow showing which direction you need to be heading in, along with the distance remaining. The app also allows you to add points along your route to the final destination, so you can avoid certain areas or make sure you pass your favourite coffee shop on the way to your final destination.
The company reckons that the simplicity of navigation offered by the BeeLine allows cyclists to “rediscover the fun of cycling with their new-found freedom as BeeLine lets them pick their own path, unlike most navigation devices that use turn-by-turn GPS navigation.” Sounds like a novel way of navigating through a new city but might not be much use if you’re running late for work.
The BeeLine features an e-paper screen providing crisp and clear information in all light conditions, with a backlight for night riding. It uses Bluetooth to communicate with the partner app on a compatible smartphone, and inside the device is a magnetometer, accelerometer, and gyroscope. It’s fully waterproof and the battery is said to be good for up to four weeks between charges.
There’s a simple silicone strap to attach the BeeLine to handlebars, so it can be removed easily, and attached to any bike you’re riding.
You can also use BeeLine without navigation, and it’ll perform like a regular cycle computer, displaying your current speed and distance or a clock.
Tom Putnam, co-founder of BeeLine, says: “We have worked very hard on the design to ensure BeeLine slots seamlessly into a cyclist’s lifestyle. We’ve been working with an industrial design agency and electronic engineers to get BeeLine to where it is today, and now we’re launching on Kickstarter to raise funds to go into mass production. We are very excited to be bringing BeeLine to the Kickstarter community.”
The BeeLine inventors are seeking £60,000 funding and are nearly halfway there with 29 days to go. The £30 ‘extra eager bee’ discounts have gone, but you can still get one for £35 with an ‘eager bee’ discount. Delivery is expected in August 2016. You can pay another £10 for personalised engraving. The full retail price when it launches is expected to be about £60.
David worked on the road.cc tech team from 2012-2020. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds, and you can now find him over on his own YouTube channel David Arthur - Just Ride Bikes.