Cyclists who push their pedals in pursuit of fitness or sporting glory are well catered for when it comes to on-board computing. Devices that measure the speed, cadence, distance, and length of your ride have been around for decades. But for the average bike owner, such telemetry is largely useless — these people are recreational cyclists or commuters, not Tour de France competitors. The Haiku bike computer is aimed at these riders. Currently raising production funds via Kickstarter, this gadget clips onto your handlebars, and provides GPS directions and notifications from your phone.
Haiku comes with a neat magnetic mount, and once paired, it automatically connects to your smartphone via low-energy Bluetooth. If you select a destination in Google Maps, the new device will offer satnav-like directions; if someone calls or messages you, Haiku will display a notification. It can also use GPS data to do the work of a regular cycle computer, and it works with a number of major fitness apps.
You could use your phone for these functions, of course. But Haiku has several clear advantages. Quite apart from the benefit of keeping your phone safely pocketed, this cycle computer has a small OLED screen that is easy to read in glare and after dark. Haiku also has a battery life of one week, and an interface that is specifically designed for cyclists — rather than having to tap a touchscreen, you simply pass your hand over the device to move between modes. It means you spend far less time with your hand off the brake, and your eyes off the road.
Due to its requirement for Bluetooth 4.0, the Haiku computer is only compatible with modern iPhones and a selection of Android phones at present. However, at a pre-order price of €70 (approx. $79), it compares favorably with its wearable equivalents. For an extra €15 ($17), motorbike and scooter riders can order a suction cup mount, too. The project is scheduled for completion in May 2016.