Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Technology

Hammerhead System Offers a Better Way To Navigate While Cycling 249

Posted by samzenpus
from the where-you-going? dept.
Mark Gibbs writes "If you've ever tried to navigate using a smartphone while cycling you'll know full well that you took your life in your hands. By the time you've focused on the map and your brain has decoded what you're looking at you've traveled far enough to be sliding on gravel or go careening into the side of a car. What's needed is a way that you can get directions from your smartphone without having to lose your focus and possibly your life and Hammerhead Navigation have one of the most interesting answers I've seen."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Hammerhead System Offers a Better Way To Navigate While Cycling

Comments Filter:
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday November 21, 2013 @11:12PM (#45487627)

    All its missing is a buy now button

  • Silly hype. (Score:4, Informative)

    by foobar bazbot (3352433) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @11:16PM (#45487653)

    If you've ever tried to navigate using a smartphone while cycling you'll know full well that you took your life in your hands. By the time you've focussed on the map and your brain has decoded what you're looking at you've travelled far enough to be sliding on gravel or go careening into the side of a car.

    Actually, after making a proper bike mount for my N900, I had no trouble using satnav while cycling.

    Unlike TFA author Mark Gibbs, I'm aware that my experience is not universal, as people in some other cities have to deal with worse traffic than I do.

  • Hammerhead? (Score:5, Funny)

    by fizzer06 (1500649) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @11:36PM (#45487737)
    An odd name choice for a bicycle navigation system. Ouch!
  • non-issue (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SuperBanana (662181) on Thursday November 21, 2013 @11:38PM (#45487743)

    As a many-years bicyclist, for transportation, recreation, exercise, etc...I offer the following advice:

    Any time you see some new device being marketed, consider that the bicycle in its first forms dates to the early 1800's, nearly a century before cars were commonplace. In that time, cyclists have figured out the solutions to most problems, and those solutions have been refined as material sciences, engineering, and whatnot have evolved. So, for example, my front light uses a sophisticated mirror and LED to light 50 feet of bike path in front of me, while my back light uses LEDs and light pipes to provide a 2-inch wide big glowing red bar...all powered off a smooth, unnoticeable generator in my front wheel's hub.

    The solution to this "oh my pretty little cyclist head just doesn't know where it's going" problem is one of the following:

    • I look at my phone as I start my journey, figure out the first 2 or so turns, and look again at said phone when I get to a light or a convenient place to stop. I typically note approximate distance between turns and street names. It's a skill pretty quickly learned.
    • I can place an earphone in my ear. Both Apple and Google provide spoken directions.
    • I can place a GPS cycling computer with route navigation on my handlebars. They're daylight-readable and backlit, the batteries last 8-9 hours while navigating, they make a nice loud "BEEP DA DA BEEP!" for an upcoming turn, show a big-ass arrow you can practically see in your peripheral vision, along with the street name/distance, too, usually.
    • I can place a "cue sheet" on my handlebars in any of half a dozen different ways. Clips, clear plastic holders, you name it.

    The device strikes me as rather ignorant of how most cyclists travel, anyway. Most everyone I know, including if not especially beginners, consult Google Maps and think carefully about their route because of safety concerns. By the time we're on our bike, we probably know where we're going and how to get there.

    Damn near everything bike-related that has come out of Kickstarter either solves a problem that was already solved, and was solved better...or solved a problem that didn't exist. Both are usually due to ignorance on the part of the designers, or designers preying upon ignorance among the general public.

    Sadly, an increasing number of these products are designed to prey upon people's fears about danger, or continue a culture of placing the onus on cyclists to protrect themselves from other people doing stupid, dangerous, or illegal things with large, fast-moving vehicles who then strike them.

    • Re: (Score:2, Troll)

      by jklovanc (1603149)

      Sadly, an increasing number of cyclists continue a culture of placing the onus on vehicle drivers to avoid cyclists doing stupid, dangerous, or illegal things with small, fast-moving vehicles who then get struck.

      FTFY
      There are similar number of bad cyclists as there are bad drivers. I was making a right turn on a green. A cyclist on the two way crossing street in the far lane passed several cars on the right barely slowing down, did not stop at the stop light, turned left in front of the stopped vehicles into the crosswalk and passed in front of my vehicle. Had I not noticed him and stopped he would have been a hood ornament and his fault. Legally he broke the following laws; passing on right without enough room, fa

      • While there are too many crazy cyclists, in a bicycle-car collision the fault is in most cases with the driver, not the cyclist. Most of these were ignoring the cyclist's right of way when they were turning right or coming out of an alleyway.

        Here is a typical example (not my video, but I know the guy and I had my share of similar situations):
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wpIZmbqp9Gk [youtube.com]

        Oh, and If you want my anecdotal evidence to beat yours: about a month ago I was cycling on a bicycle lane which was a part of

        • by BitZtream (692029)

          In my town, this year, there have been 3 bicycle accidents resulting in fatalities. In all 3 incidents, the biker was cited as the cause.

          There have been a handful of non-fatal accidents ... and in most of them, the driver of the car was not charged.

          In my area, cyclists are trendy hipsters who think they own the road and are too stupid to realize that my 2500 pound little car wins the argument EVERY SINGLE TIME ... They are the problem, not the innocent. That may not be the case in your town, but its the

          • Well, according to the German insurer statistics [www.gdv.de], drivers were at fault in 90% of all car-bicycle accidents. This is actually way more than I thought, my gut feeling was at 75%.

            The difference is probably that while where you live only trendy hipsters cycle, but here in Germany there are lots of casual cyclists from all classes.

    • by Jesus_666 (702802)
      Exactly. On a bike the cost of stopping is negligible, even when we factor in that you might need to get off the road to safely stop. When I need to look up something I stop, look it up and continue. Problem solved.

      Actually, I don't even see the market. I've never seen someone go "I want to visually consult my smartphone's navigation app while riding my bike but there's just no safe way to do so!". Stopping to take a glance at the map is just that obvious a solution. I mean, sure, it's basically an expens
      • Not negligible. First, if you stop, you'll have to accelerate again. No concern for a car, but cyclists have to use their own strength. Also when you stop, you'll have to put a feet on the ground otherwise you'll fall. Also, no concern for a car.

        But this is just nitpicking, on your main message (When I need to look up something I stop, look it up and continue) I totally agree.

    • by swillden (191260)

      So... your point is that in over 200 years all of the problems have been solved... and your example is a lighting device that didn't exist on bikes 20 years ago (probably less)?

  • by SuperBanana (662181) on Friday November 22, 2013 @12:02AM (#45487867)

    "Makes me want to start cycling again."

    Translation: the author, like most tech bloggers, doesn't actually use a bicycle, but considers themselves qualified to speak about bicycle products.

    • by RobertinXinyang (1001181) on Friday November 22, 2013 @12:26AM (#45487975)

      Correct observation, this product has already been discussed on bicycle forums and has been dismissed as not very useful. http://www.bikeforums.net/showthread.php/917472-new-procuct-take-a-look?highlight=hammerhead [bikeforums.net]

      When out on a multiday ride in an unfamiliar area I want more than a blinking light. Frequently the GPS picks, plain stupid, route detours. A look at the map or the map screen shows these obvious errors quickly. Even when routing my way back home form an unfamiliar location at night I need more than the hammerhead provides. About the only use for the hammerhead is when riding a, tested and proven, preloaded track. A GPS enabled bicycle speedometer will do the same and more.

      Because this thing still requires the smartphone to be present, just mount the smartphone and be done with it. At best it is an interesting gift for the cyclist who has everything. . . just don't let your feelings get hurt when that cyclist 're-gifts' it.

  • Before smartphones, cyclist still managed to get around fine. And back then they had *gasp* paper maps. ya, I know, how did they manage?

  • by FuzzNugget (2840687) on Friday November 22, 2013 @01:38AM (#45488263)
    Why not a smartphone app that hooks into the mapping/GPS/nav services, shows a large flashing arrow and reads out navigationally with vocal commands via a bluetooth earphone?
    • by drcheap (1897540)

      Why not a smartphone app that hooks into the mapping/GPS/nav services, shows a large flashing arrow and reads out navigationally with vocal commands via a bluetooth earphone?

      Yeah, it could even have voice recognition capabilities so that you can speak to it and ask it how to get to location XYZ.
      I should go patent that before someone else .... aw dammit!!

  • Bike HUD (Score:4, Interesting)

    by MarkvW (1037596) on Friday November 22, 2013 @01:58AM (#45488329)

    All this is nothing to me. I'm waiting for a viable, programmable (and private) bike HUD (with rearview, HR, wattage, and navigation data.

    That's what I'm waiting for.

    • by David Off (101038)

      Strava have just launched a doo-daa that works with Google Glass. I don't know whether it does any of what you want but may be worth a look.

      For bike navigation, when I'm going somewhere in town I just pop my car's TomTom in my pocket. It has a 2 hour battery life, has cycle routes and speaks the direction. Pretty straightforward.

  • Open Streetmap has (where I live) much better cycling maps than any other. Offline, so no data charges. OSMAND (for android) is free as in beer, and gives you spoken instructions in the language of your choice. And if your favorite track is not on the map, it is very satisfying to draw it yourself and share it with the community.
  • I'll just put a BT headset in and listen to the audio cues that ALL gps apps deliver. Honestly, his "hammerhead" thing is a solution looking for a problem.
    Looking down all the time for a visual cue is dumb.. ride along never looking until you hear " left turn 1000 feet ahead on main street" in your ear is the proper solution.

    • by neorush (1103917)
      You've got it, I do this on my motorcycle all the time. I could mount it on the handle bars like a lot of guys, but I find it is just too distracting. If I'm really not sure I just stop and look at the screen. The other piece to this is to review your route before you head out. 2-3 mins of review and there is really no problem.
  • If you've ever tried to navigate using a smartphone while cycling you'll know full well that you took your life in your hands.

    Which is one people with common sense stop and check the maps, whereas stupid people looking for a Darwin award do not.

    What's needed is a way that you can get directions from your smartphone without having to lose your focus and possibly your life

    No, what's needed is to stop and look at the map. Common sense >> gadgetry.

    and Hammerhead Navigation have one of the most interesting answers I've seen.

    Not as interesting as, I dunno, stop and look at the map. Fucking revolutionary, I know!

  • This was solved long ago for motorcyclists who ride at a much faster pace than pedalists.
    Align the mount so you can glance down at it. RAM make nice ones.
    If your phone display is too small that a glance won't do, dedicated GPS are cheap enough.

    Review your route before leaving. If your route is complicated and in an unfamiliar area, print a paper map and toss it in a ziploc bag. If I go anywhere I need a GPS I do this in case the GPS fails.

I don't want to achieve immortality through my work. I want to achieve immortality through not dying. -- Woody Allen

Working...