Chances are you haven’t found the perfect solution to get directions while riding your bike. Meet Haiku, a tiny little bike computer that wants to solve that by being a sort of smartwatch for your bike. The French startup is launching a Kickstarter campaign today — you can get a Haiku for $70 right now (€60).
Haiku is a small detachable device that you put on your handlebar. It uses Bluetooth to connect to your phone and present you all the information you need, starting with directions.
There isn’t any complicated interface as you will only be using this device when riding a bike. For instance, you need to put directions on your phone first in order to get them on Haiku’s deported screen. The device tells you when you need to turn with simple arrows.
What happens when you receive a message or a call? Haiku has a few color LEDs on the side. They blink when you receive a notification but Haiku still shows directions or stats. If you want to see pending messages, you just wave your hand in front of the device. This way, you can pay attention to the road and read messages at a traffic light for example.
Finally, Haiku does everything you would expect from a bike assistant. It tracks your speed using your phone’s GPS and uploads your rides to Strava. The Haiku app also works with Apple’s HealthKit and Google Fit.
I saw a prototype in June, and the device was already working as expected. Many little details show that the team behind Haiku are heavy bike riders. For example, it’s very easy to attach and detach Haiku from your handlebar, letting you keep the small device in your bag when you’re not around your bike.
Haiku doesn’t have any button or tactile display, which is perfect when it’s raining and it’s cold and you are wearing gloves. The battery lasts around 12 hours and you can recharge Haiku with a micro USB cable.
This device doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel. You can’t do as much as with your phone or smartwatch. It has a limited set of features, but everything works really well when you are actually riding on a bike. Sure your phone can do it all, but Haiku can do a few things better.