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Circuit Breaker

Beeline is a bike compass that lets you choose your path

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Beeline

Navigational devices for bikes are nothing new, but Beeline is a different kind of bike GPS. The Bluetooth device doesn’t give riders a direct route to their desired location, but instead points them in the right direction with an approximation of how far they have left to travel. Riders get to devise their own route and discover their city, or something.

Beeline sounds exciting because designing your own adventure is apparently the dream for a renegade biker, but I still don’t totally understand how riders will get where they want to go.

I assume people need help getting to a specific destination because they don’t know where it is, so a nudge in the right direction would definitely help, but I also can see it being frustrating. What if they encounter an unexpected obstacle and get completely offtrack? Are they supposed to figure out which store they’re looking for while also handling a bike? It isn’t fun being told what to do, but sometimes it’s nice to have an algorithm figure out your ride. I’m also a square.

That said, Beeline is Kickstarter success story: it launched on the crowdfunding platform in October 2015, shipped to backers this month, and is now available for anyone to order for £99, or around $121. The backlit e-paper screen is viewable in any light; it’s water resistant; and the battery should last around four weeks under normal use. I love a happy ending.