Automotive Connected Objects

IScout lets drivers scout out the road ahead safely

Heads-up displays (HUDs) are becoming increasingly popular devices because they allow drivers to keep their eyes on the road while getting navigation and other useful information about their cars and the road ahead.

patent-claimedIScout is a standalone, patent-pending HUD that provides information including car speed, fuel level and GPS navigation as a floating virtual image in front of the vehicle. It works in conjunction with an Android and iOS mobile device app, enabling iScout to also display incoming calls, messages, reminders and social media content.

Cycling Technology

Awaken your cycling force with SpeedForce all-in-one cycling device

Cyclists use many assistive devices to make their rides better and easier. Devices like ride trackers and GPS navigation dot the handlebars of cyclists all across the world and while useful, make them extremely cluttered and ungainly to use effectively. How can they be so helpful when there are so many to fiddle around with?

LeMore Lab’s SpeedForce aims to be the one device that brings all of these disparate devices together. It’s all-in-one design makes it so that everything from an integrated 150-lumen headlight works alongside professional grade ride tracking technology that keeps tabs on calories burned, distance travelled and speed, among other stats.
Its battery lasts 40 hours and allows for long stretches of use without the fear of a dead SpeedForce since the battery is removable as well. And that will certainly happen since cyclists will use it often: SpeedForce offers turn-by-turn navigation with its embedded GPS technology, using subtle cues of light on the device itself to direct riders through a connected smartphone or user uploaded directions

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.

Cell Phone Accessories Travel

Navdy lets drivers stay connected without taking their eyes off the road

The Premise. No matter how many advantages a smartphone can have in terms of communication, navigation, and information, all of these things can become dangerous while operating a motor vehicle. Hands-free sets and dashboard mounts only fix part of the problem: using them still requires taking eyes off the road.

The Product. Navdy is a dashboard-mounted device, it’s true, but instead of being mounted in the center of the car’s console, Navdy goes behind the steering wheel. From there, it projects an image onto a mirror which reflects it back onto a windshield at a simulated distance of a few meters away, offering access to data about speed, direction, navigation, and incoming texts and calls without ever taking eyes off the road. Navdy is controlled with a mixture of voice recognition and hand gestures, allowing drivers to safely talk, text, and even tweet in a way that is arguably safer than any other alternative.

The Pitch. Navdy’s pitch video is an instant classic, and fans of videos for apps like Summly and Push For Pizza will recognize the humorous, casual style of the video in this introduction as well. The Web site for Navdy is standard pre-order fare, with lots of quality information and large, stylish images. The layout fits the content so well because the video does such a supreme job of entertaining and making visitors curious enough to scroll all the way through the data down to the ordering page.

The Perks. Navdy can pre-ordered at a discount, costing supporters just $299, with an expected shipping date early in 2015.

The Potential. Potential for Navdy is huge, both for its success and for future devices to reverse engineer it and add a feature here or a different UI there. Still, this feature set, the well-designed interface and interaction via voice and motion, and the combination of utility and safety will make Navdy a huge hit from soccer moms all the way up to commercial drivers. If Navdy only offered navigation tools, it would be useful enough to be a niche product, but by offering a complete front-end for any smartphone experience, there probably isn’t a single driver on the road who couldn’t make use of Navdy in their daily lives. Even better that it does all this without cluttering or obscuring all those other drivers out in the real world.