Cell Phone Accessories Connected Objects Displays

headsUP outfits motorcycle helmets with HUD, no bank rolls necessary

The fascination most have with motorcycles has as much to do with culture as it does with the feeling of danger and the exhilaration that comes from riding. All the same, safety should always be part of the motorcycle riding equation.

One of the more dangerous actions a motorcycle rider can do is to check his or her speed. At 60 miles per hour, riders can cover 150 feet in the split second it takes to quickly look down and check the speedometer.

Inventor Tyler Collins is hoping to make checking motorcycle speed a safer endeavor with headsUP. headsUP, as the name implies, is a heads-up display that can be affixed to any motorcycle and display both speed and navigation information. As a result, riders can keep their eyes on the road while at the same time maintaining an increased level of awareness. The device’s Bluetooth connection allows the helmet to pull navigation data from both iOS and Android devices, transforming that information into a simple to read message on the HUD itself. Backers can purchase their very own headsUP unit for $200 if a campaign goal of $125,000 is met by April 2015. First shipments are expected to begin in January of 2016.

Offering simplicity while not having to shell out an exuberant amount of money makes headsUP an attractive option for any rider interested in this sort of technology. The headsUP succeeds in offering a bare-bones alternative to something like Skully’s AR-1, a far more feature rich, pricey take on the motorcycle helmet.

Connected Objects Cycling

Noke smart U-lock protects your two-wheeler from a stealer

There have been no shortage of smart locks designed to protect the home. But many feel most at home on the road with two wheels hitting the road and a desire to protect what moves them there.

Just last fall, Fūz Designs introduced the Noke smart padlock that kept lockers closed to all but the right iPhone owner. Now the company has returned to Kickstarter with the Noke U-Lock. Evolving the electronics of the original into a shell that it calls “virtually indestructible,” the protective device  accommodates both bikes and motorcycles.

After pressing the unlock button on the device, the lock seeks out a smartphone with the right code in the companion app and disengages. Noke has also built functionality for lending a bike into the app and for revoking those lending privileges. Consumers can also track their bikes via GPS built into the product. Apple Watch compatibility is in the works. And bucking a trend, the company is even supporting Windows Phones in addition to iPhones and Android devices.

Automotive Camping

Motorcycle Teardrop Camper follows riders to the great outdoors

Motorcycle Teardrop CamperHiking and camping can be some of the best spent vacation time. And if it’s possible to do it economically, maybe even with a motorcycle or other fuel efficient vehicle, that can make it so much the better. The Motorcycle Teardrop Camper is probably the closest thing to a Vespa you can live in. The goal of this project’s creator is for a small, 400-pound camper to be able to be hitched to a motorcycle or economy vehicle such as a hybrid for some grand adventures in the great outdoors, but it’s still pretty early in the game. Backers will get a production credit on this product when it becomes available if they are willing to contribute at least $1,000.

Personal Transportation Sports

Kuberg Free-Rider gives electric bikes the power to play

The Premise. Gas powered motorcycles are becoming harder and harder to use for pleasure, due to rising costs and environmental restrictions, while their electric counterparts are mostly made only for young children or to cruise at low speeds.

The Product. The Kuberg Free-Rider is different. With a weight of 84 pounds, and a 2 kW BLDC motor, the Free-Rider can get up to 34 MPH for about an hour supporting a rider twice its weight. With quality forks, suspension, and brakes, this bike is meant for catching air and enjoying the thrill of the ride.

The Pitch. Kuberg learned how to make a quality electric motorcycle by first offering children’s sizes and models. Now realizing that the next step is to apply the same technology for teenagers and adults, they show off the Free-Rider in action as it hits off-road trails, gets some lift off of jumps, and does some trial riding both indoors and outdoors. This bike is not meant to necessarily replace the performance of a gas-powered alternative, but rather supplement it for training and in places where the exhaust could be harmful. Kuberg needs $100,000 strictly for materials and manufacturing costs, as they operate their own proprietary factories.

The Perks. Hitting the trails on a Kuberg Free-Rider takes a pledge of $1,999, nearly half the retail cost. A stronger-motor model, the RACE, is available for $2,999, and the TREX model, which is a lightweight trial bike, is available to backers in a preproduction model for $4,999. Other bikes are available at a discount for backers starting at $599 for the basic Trial E model that includes mechanical brakes and no seat kit. Additional battery packs are available at the $599 level, as are quick chargers that will recharge batteries in less than 30 minutes. Most rewards are expected to be delivered in September of this year, while the prototype TREX should reach backers in July 2015.

The Potential. These electric bikes have already been popular with younger, smaller riders, so the decision to make more grown-up models makes perfect sense. Aside from their entertaining aspects, electric bikes like the Kuberg Free-Rider could be the next breakthrough in urban transportation, and it helps that this company is paying attention to things like performance and design, not just trying to make an upper-end children’s toy.