Bike computers are certainly practical for more serious cyclists who are looking to gain an edge wherever they can. But most of us don't need fancy fitness or altitude data to get from A to B. French startup Asphalt Labs has developed a gesture-controlled ride assistant that brings some basic but useful functions, like navigation and call alerts, to the handlebars of commuters.
For the savvy cyclist, "smart bikes" tend to offer useful elements that enhance rides for fun, commuting, or sport. Unfortunately, not everyone can justify the steep costs involved, especially when there may be a perfectly good "normal" bicycle at home. Thankfully, upgrades exist to help turn standard bicycles into smart ones. One of the latest, the SmartHalo, provides smart and safe directions in what is described as a durable, minimalist design.
If you regularly swim laps in a pool, chances are that you wear goggles so you can follow the lane markers on the bottom. For triathletes swimming in lakes or the sea, however, there are no lane markers. Instead, they have to periodically look up towards marker buoys, and may even then proceed forward in a time- and energy-wasting zig-zaggy pattern. That’s why OnCourse Goggles were created. Using LEDs, they show the wearer how to stay … well, on course.
It has been a long-held belief in scientific circles that many creatures navigate across land, through water, and through the skies using the Earth’s magnetic field for guidance. Now scientists and engineers working at The University of Texas at Austin (UT) have finally discovered the organic mechanism responsible for this in an animal. Looking just like a microscopic TV antenna, the structure has been found in the brain of a tiny roundworm that uses it to work out which way to burrow through the soil. This breakthrough may help scientists discover how other species with internal compasses use the magnetic field of our planet to pilot their course.
While there's a great deal of excitement surrounding the concept of autonomous delivery drones, the aircraft would
likely all utilize GPS to navigate – and GPS satellites aren't always
available. That's why Prof. Martinez Carranza has developed a new drone
navigation system, that's based purely on visual observations.
We've already seen experimental "white canes" that allow blind users to get a sense of their surroundings via ultrasound and lasers.
Birmingham City University's XploR mobility cane, however, uses its
onboard electronics towards another end – to help users locate people
that they know.