Haize: The smart compass for your bike
When cycling in the city, looking up directions can be a nightmare. Who doesn’t know how annoying it is to struggle to get your phone out of your pocket and type an address into Google Maps while trying to navigate a busy intersection.
That’s why the Spanish Onomo start-up came up with a new navigation system for cyclists: Their bike compass looks a little like a bicycle bell that you can attach to your handle bars. But instead of warning pedestrians of your approach, it guides you to your destination.
“There were no good solutions for urban cyclists on the market – using Google Maps forces you to pull out your phone constantly or listen to a nagging voice in your ear. And other cycling navigation solutions like satnavs are extremely complex and expensive,” founder Luis Martin Nuez explains. Two years ago, his co-founder Javier Soto Morras had a cycling accident and broke his smartphone. “He called and asked me to come up with a solution for this problem.” And that is how HAIZE was born.
Haize is a Bluetooth-enabled compass that uses your mobile phone’s GPS and Bluetooth. Just enter the address into the app on your phone, and the gadget’s display will show you the way. You can also use it while running, hiking or geo-caching. “We wanted to create a simple, affordable and easy to use product with a minimal interface that clearly communicates directions without becoming a distraction.”
Haize allows you to choose between two different modes: The navigation mode maps out a specific route and gives you turn-by-turn directions, just like a traditional GPS satnav. The information is easy to read, so it helps reduce accidents caused by the use of mobile phones when cycling.
But the compass or adventure mode is even more exciting: Just two LED lights show up on the display, one pointing in the direction of your final destination, while the other changes colour from red to green and flashes faster to indicate how far you have to go. This leaves you free to choose your own route through the city and explore along the way, maintaining a glorious sense of freedom.
Or as Luis put it: “HAIZE is the name of a Spanish wind and we want cyclists to feel just as free.”