Connected Objects Cycling

SmartHalo keeps your bike on track and your eyes on the road

There’s no shortage of bike computers and mounts to have your smartphone take on a wide range of tasks while affixed to a bike’s handlebars. But both can be a bit overwhelming, or at least distracting, when trying to glean information at a glance.

Consisting of a ring of LEDs surrounding a central light, SmartHalo takes on a more symbol-driven approach to a range of bike-related tasks. By lighting up the different parts of its circular display’s edge, it can cue the rider to turn left, right or make a u-turn while a center dot turns on for a call notification. As soon as one starts pedaling, its companion app starts tracking a range of metrics, including time, distance, average speed and calories burned.

Automotive Connected Objects

Exploride makes a clear case for a smart car display

editors-choiceThe OBD (On-Board Diagnostics) II port in all cars produced since 1996 has been tapped for the wide array of information it can yield about a car’s status and performance . Much of this information has been transferred to an app or a clunky tablet-like device on the dashboard.

Exploride, though, ties together input from the OBD II connector, your smartphone and even the good old car stereo (via Bluetooth) to create an ambitious and holistic smart car retrofit solution. The basic functionality includes tasks we’ve seen in many other in-vehicle systems, including control over phone calls, navigation and music. What really sets the product apart is its 6″ fold-down transparent display that also features a dash cam for good measure. While companies such as Garmin have experimented with heads-up displays, the car computer from the Maryland-based company has a much slicker, sleeker and colorful experience.

Camping Connected Objects Cycling Running

TrekAce points you in the right direction, keeps your hands free

Handheld navigation devices, which include smartphones these days, have been around for a long time. But one of their disadvantages is that they have to be held in the hand, or at least mounted to something. That can be a hassle when one wants to use their hands to hold walking poles, binoculars, bike handles and other staples of outdoor activity.

TrekAce takes another approach to navigating. The water-resistant starfish-like object wraps itself around one’s forearm. A touch screen provides the usual bits of GPS-related info. But what really sets TrekAce apart is how it can use its appendages to indicate which direction one should turn. Vibrations in its different extensions can communicate going straight ahead, 90-degree and 45-degree turns and reversing. A combination can indicate moving between multiple angles. For example, if the “straight ahead” and 45-degree signals buzz, that means to take a 22-degree turn.