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Future Tech: 

Equip your bike with a digital compass

beeline

Apple and Google are busy transforming in-car kit with CarPlay and Android Auto respectively, but what about the humble bicycle? There are a few satnavs aimed at the two-wheeler, but this device does things a little differently. Instead of telling you which turn to take, it points you in the general direction and lets you find your own way.

The makers of the BeeLine refer to this notion as “fuzzy navigation”. While it might sound a bit vague, the idea is sound: instead of keeping your head down, following rigid instructions on where to turn – or worse, keeping stopping to check the map on your phone – you head in the general direction and explore for yourself. Along the way, you’ll discover new parts of town, and might even stumble across a gem of a venue or view. You might even find a quicker way than the maps apps recommend.

It syncs to your phone over Bluetooth. Enter your destination on the app, and the arrow points in the direction. It also tells you how far away you are. If you need to go a certain way – to cross a bridge over a river, say – you can enter that as an intermediate waypoint, and it’ll direct you there first. So while it’s in the spirit of discovery, it won’t get you stuck.

It has a flexible strap that fits any bike, and an e-paper screen that’s readable in direct sun. That also helps its battery life – with 20 minutes’ use every day, it’ll last three months before needing a recharge. Use it for an hour a day, and it’ll still last a month.

It’s weather-proof, and comes in a case that protects the screen when not in use. Best of all, it’s super cheap – the early birds start at just $46! If the crowdfunding project is successful, it should ship in August. Cue ‘Go Your Own Way’ by Fleetwood Mac.

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