They buzz you left or right toward a destination (which may or may not turn out to be a brick wall).

"Eyes-free navigation" doesn't sound like a great idea for cyclists who value the integrity of their faces. Yet that's the far-fetched feature offered with smrtGRiPS, haptic feedback-equipped bike accessories that allow riders to feel their way around a city.

The paired gadgets, made by Montreal's Boréal Bikes, look like little metal flashlights that slip inside a bike's handlebars. Once synced with a mapping app, they direct riders toward a destination by vibrating left or right. The smrtGRiPS are alleged to have a three-month battery life, so cyclists can jet around for long stretches without having to constantly take them apart like dead Wii controllers.

Here's how Boréal describes the $64 doohickeys on Indiegogo:

smrtGRiPS Connect strives to transform your bike into that dependable attentive friend that helps you know what's coming through a subtle nudge orwhen you really need to pay attention—a forceful shake.

Thoughtfully minimalist, integrated and balanced, this is technology that will doesn't stick out. It's all about improving that symbiotic relationship between you and your bike, so you can have a ride that's smart and connected, but frees you to enjoy that immersive experience called The Ride. Look at it this wayyou can squint at a screen, or you can ridetake in the view, be with your friends, and fully enjoy the trail.

The grips include a smattering of other perks, like a locating beacon for fuzzy-minded parkers and an alert system if one of your group falls prey to a wolf (well, lags behind for any reason, I suppose). And if a thief snags the bike, the owner will get notifications from other smrtGRiPS users when the miscreant pedals by them. All in all, it sounds like nifty bike gear for the 21st century ... at least until hackers find a way to manipulate the vibrations and steer you into the municipal reservoir.

smrtGRiPS

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. Life

    Who’s Really Buying Property in San Francisco?

    A lot of software developers, according to an unprecedented new analysis.

  2. a rendering of the moon village with a view of Earth
    Design

    Designing the First Full-Time Human Habitat on the Moon

    SOM, in partnership with the ESA and MIT, wants to accommodate research and maybe even tourism on the moon.

  3. People standing in line with empty water jugs.
    Environment

    Cape Town’s ‘Day Zero’ Water Crisis, One Year Later

    In spring 2018, news of the water crisis in South Africa ricocheted around the world—then the story disappeared. So what happened?

  4. Equity

    The Hidden Horror of Hudson Yards Is How It Was Financed

    Manhattan’s new luxury mega-project was partially bankrolled by an investor visa program called EB-5, which was meant to help poverty-stricken areas.

  5. Life

    How Bad Is It to Let Your Cat Outside?

    Your adorable house cat is also a ruthless predator. A conservation biologist makes the case for keeping cats indoors, or at least on leashes.