Unless you’re a bicycle fanatic you probably don’t think of the average bicycle as being a high-tech piece of sporting equipment. A group called HELIOS has taken to Kickstarter to change that perception by adding connectivity to the carbon fiber developments that have characterised bike technology for the most part. The way that they will do this is through modifying the handlebars of a given bike.
The aim of the Helios Bars is to add certain functions to a bicycle, namely proximity lighting, indicators or turn signals, GPS tracking and navigation, other lighting solutions and a speedometer of sorts. Many of the functions would be part and parcel of the handlebars themselves, which will be available in a Drop or Bullhorn configuration, but the modifications will be controlled via Bluetooth 4.0 and an iPhone 4S or iPhone 5.
Indeed, the iOS operating system is used to control most of the proposed functions. Proximity lighting, which activates when the bike’s owner gets nearby, requires a nearby iPhone as an identified. LEDs can have their colour changed via an iPhone app. There is a low-powered GPS in the handlebars, allowing the bike to be tracked anywhere in the US. Connecting the handlebars to a smartphone allows it to take advantage of Google Maps’ API, both to provide a colour-based representation of the user’s current speed and to provide turn-by-turn navigation that uses lights to direct users on where to make their turns.
The pitch video for the Helios Bars is below. The innovation is getting a lot of positive press at the moment and the Kickstarter campaign has over $28,000 of $70,000 funded at the moment with a further 29 days available for the cash to come in.
Source: Digital Trends