HeadsUp System keeps your car-topped gear from getting 'racked'


September 19, 2011

The HeadsUp wireless gear alert system is designed to keep this sort of thing from happening (Photo: Threat to Democracy via Flickr)

The HeadsUp wireless gear alert system is designed to keep this sort of thing from happening (Photo: Threat to Democracy via Flickr)

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If you've just completed a three-hour bike ride and an hour's drive home, it's entirely possible that once you're finally pulling up into your driveway, the fact that your bike is mounted on the roof of your car might not be the first thing on your mind. If you don't have a garage, that's no big deal, but if you do ... well, you could just proceed to drive into it out of habit, and end up smashing your bike against the bottom of its raised door. That's what cyclist Tom Reiber did on one memorable occasion, and it prompted him to invent the HeadsUp wireless gear alert system.

HeadsUp consists of an LED alert sign/control module that mounts in the garage, a small wireless water-resistant tag that stays on one's bike or other car-topped gear, and an auditory alert unit that mounts inside the vehicle. As the driver approaches their garage, the garage-based module detects the tag, and lights up with a visual warning. At the same time, the car-based alerter sounds a tone, both units reminding the driver not to enter the garage before taking their bike off their roof rack.

The system comes with two tags, each of which can be permanently left attached to different bikes, kayaks or other items. Those tags can be transferred to other objects as needed, or users can order additional tags (along with additional in-car alerters). The control module, which runs off mains power, displays a visual warning when it detects that a tag's battery is getting low - something that should reportedly only occur about once a year.

A complete HeadsUp system can be preordered from the company website for US$169.99, and should ship early next month.

Of course, you could also simply leave a reminder for yourself, such as a trash can in front of the garage door. In the same way that you could forget about your roof-mounted bike, however, you could also forget to leave yourself that reminder.

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

Only works for your own garage, probably most accidents occur when entering parking buildings or other unfamiliar situations - so a system that didn\'t require the building to be also wired would be much better. Something as simple as a telescopic rod that you adjust to the height of the load which triggers an alarm when hit ...


It\'s NOT a bad idea - in principle; but I can see it being bought by an inattentive person (most of us) who 6 weeks after purchase going \"Ahh where did I put that tag?\" - and 6 months later - finding it, and then saying as they held it up in the air, \"WTF is this?\" before putting it back into the pile of crap it came out of OR tossing it in the bin with the rest of the junk.

Sorry - I think the suspended bar system or a rope and tin cans or something, before the garage door is much easier to use.

Something like this:

Mr Stiffy

Seems like a good idea but why didn\'t they use RFID tags which don\'t need batteries? (powered by the emitted radio signal) And what happens if the tag\'s battery finishes while the tagged item is out and about? does the garage-mounted device recognise it with a flat battery?

@nbs - I agree - having almost got stuck in a multi-storey car park with a Land Rover brings this home painfully...

A general system could be useful for over-height lorries on motorways etc which have a habit of clipping bridges on rare but regular occasions.


Leave the garage door remote at home when you load tall objects on your car.

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