How do you put rearview mirrors on a bike? It’s a tougher question than you’d think. The traditional solution of mounting them on the handlebars works for seeing to the sides of your bike, but unlike cars, there’s no ceiling to mount a mirror on for seeing directly behind you.
A startup called Smart Bike has an idea to solve this problem using a camera and a handlebar-mounted smartphone. Its first product, a camera called Hexagon, connects to a smartphone app and functions as a live safety camera. And while there have been other rear camera / taillight combos before, like the Cycliq Fly6[v], Hexagon has a few extra tricks up its sleeve, like live stream rides and tracking fitness activity and distance traveled. Hexagon also claims to be able to tell if you’re in an accident and can automatically notify your emergency contacts.
There are a few interesting hardware additions, too. Along with the camera, Hexagon features automatic turn and braking lights built into the device, and it provides a manual control ring for your handlebar. The turn signals also have the added bonus of making Hexagon look like a glowing red version of Darth Vader’s TIE Advanced x1. There’s also a integrated 6000mAh power bank, so you can use it to recharge your phone when you’re not biking.
Hexagon will start at $99 for early backers, which isn’t exactly cheap, but there's also a cheaper Hexagon Light model which cuts the turn signals down to $75 (again, for a limited number of early backers).
Smart Bike is officially launching the Hexagon next week on Indiegogo, so presumably more details will be available then. Since it’s crowdfunded, the usual warnings apply: Smart Bike is a new company that’s never shipped a hardware product before, so back accordingly.