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Haiku navigation bike computer is gesture controlled

New unit aimed at urban riders harnesses the GPS capability of your smartphone

Haiku, an urban bike computer offering navigation from your smartphone and controlled with gestures of the hand, is available to pre-order ahead of a March 2017 launch.

The computer from Paris-based startup Asphalt Lab provides you with your speed and ride time, as you’d expect, along with directions and notification of calls and messages.

Haiku uses your smartphone’s GPS capability to provide you with directions. The idea is that you input your destination into the phone before you start riding, then squirrel it away somewhere safe. The phone communicates turn by turn directions to the Haiku which displays them in a format that looks to be very clear.

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You wave your hand or just your thumb in front of the touchless sensor to switch the display from navigation to ride information. The team behind the computer says it doesn’t matter whether or not you’re wearing gloves or whether it is raining. 

Haiku will let you know if someone is trying to call you, and allows you to access messages and call notifications – although its inventors are at pains to point out that you can do this at a time that’s safe.

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“The basic needs when riding a bike in the city are very different from on a road bike,” says Frédéric Martin, Asphalt Lab’s head of design and user experience.  

“It is not about performance, it is about knowing where to go, what time it is, and whether anyone is trying to reach me. With Haiku we offer urban cyclists a simple access to this information with a dedicated and innovative user experience focused on safety and simplicity. Set a destination on your phone, connect Haiku, and you’re good to go!”

Once you attach the Haiku to a magnetic dock on your handlebar it automatically starts up and connects to your smartphone. 

A Haiku Kickstarter campaign exceeded its €55,000 (£46,400) funding goal back in September (the video, above, is from the Kickstarter project). It will be available to buy for €99 (£84) in March 2017 although pre-orders are still open at €85 (£72).

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Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. We send him off around the world to get all the news from launches and shows too. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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