Archive | October, 2013

The problem of finding a bike route

29 Oct

Bikers generally do not bike because it is the quickest way to get from one point to another. While they bike for a myriad of reasons, one thing they all want is a low-traffic route. Unfortunately the roads that carry less traffic are often far more challenging to follow. When I biked across the USA with a Yale group in 2006, this problem became painfully apparent.  

Despite being armed with the advice of previous groups that had ridden the same cross-country ride, there was really no way that they could easily share this knowledge with us. We could seldom find, much less follow, the best routes. Instructions were usually too long, too unfamiliar and too complex. We therefore resorted to sending a few riders, armed with a map and chalk, ahead of the rest of the group. These riders were to stop at each intersection, try to identify the intersection on the map, and then chalk the correct turn direction over the center of the intersection. 

This was a strategy that was decidedly archaic.  It was also ineffective.  Chalk was hard to see, and those responsible for the chalking had to try to follow a paper map while biking.  Needless to say, every one of us who rode, wound up riding all the way across America on sub-optimal routes.  Frequently we would end up on rather perilous roads.  More than once we found ourselves on an Interstate highway with no clue of either how we had arrived there to begin with nor how we would navigate to a safer route.

I managed to arrive safely in San Francisco with no small dose of luck, but the problem of bike navigation was permanently seared into the back of my mind.  It would not be until the summer of 2012 that we would be able to create a compelling solution.

Piet

Hammerhead for motorcycles!

29 Oct

We really have been overwhelmed by the amount of email that we have received from the motorcycle community requesting Hammerhead for Motorcycles. This is something that we are really eager to do. We agree with their assessment that Hammerhead would solve a real problem that motorcyclists have – navigation. It seems to us as if motorcycles might face an equally significant challenge in trying to navigate. While they do not need to find routes that are specifically for motorcycle use, they do operate at high speed and need to understand navigation input in an extremely rapid fashion. Hammerhead is perfect for this.

We are committed to only taking on what we are able to get right, and we are going to make sure that the biking app and community is well served before diverting any resources elsewhere.

We are going to be developing a motorcycle app for the Hammerhead device! If you are a motorcyclist that is interested in being notified when this will be ready, please join our motorcycle community here!

Pre orders are open!

23 Oct

We have now got our pre orders running smoothly here. We are excited to keep the ball rolling forward on growing our community and accepting pre-orders for our second batch of Hammerheads that will ship in June of 2014. These units will be the same as those ordered in the crowd funding campaign, but they will not have the same level of discount. They will also not have the lifetime “elite status” within our app that we reserved specifically for our first backers that came on board during the campaign.

We have been amazed to have had a really steady rate of orders despite the relative calm that has replaced the crazyness of the campaign. We have been able to identify facebook as a tremendous source of new customers for us, which speaks to its power as a medium through which great products might be shared. It also confirms to us how passionate our supporters that have already come on board have been in sharing Hammerhead with their friends. To all of you, thank you!

We are working on adding additional payment methods to our site and will soon be able to accept PayPal as well as Amex. This will help out many people who have requested these as payment methods.

Stay tuned for more on this process!

Piet, Laurence & Raveen

We made it – $190k!

23 Oct

We made it! 

We managed to exceed our wildest expectations and hit our stretch goal of 190k! The last few hours have been really rather crazy on our end. Laurence and I spent the evening answering questions, talking to press while watching the campaign conclude. I am not sure what tomorrow morning is going to be like when we wake up to find the campaign over. It has been such an all consuming aspect of our lives for what has felt like such a long time, that it will be really odd to not be checking it constantly from here on out!

We are really excited about the addition of the altimeter as something that will allow us to add a real valuable set of data to riders in their post ride analysis. The challenge of including one is one that we are excited to tackle.

I must say that it really feel surreal more than anything to sit here with it having just concluded. My phone has been ringing constantly with supporters congratulating us. The support that we have had has been really moving at times.

Now to get back to building Hammerhead full time!

Piet

Mid Campaign – 10 October

17 Oct

This past few weeks has been a real whirlwind on our end. We have been busy with everything from prototyping to press interviews and even filmed more footage of Hammerhead in action that is included in the new video! Your support has been tremendous! We are looking forward to digging into the production process and can’t wait to ship you our revolutionary product. We have just added a bulk order option due to the overwhelming interest from retailers and distributors. We are excited about the remaining campaign days and look forward to a strong closing!

Spread the word & get your friends to back the future of bike navigation!

Piet, Laurence & Raveen

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