Tag Archives: HammerheadNav

We are now accepting Bitcoin

17 Dec


Hello backers (and new customers)!

Raveen here. We are excited to announce that today we opened our site up to orders through bitcoin. As you likely know, bitcoin is rapidly becoming a go-to online currency. It seems that every few months there is an explosion of news about this currency, always attempting to make sense of what it means for the global financial system and for law enforcement. Our move to accept it is a small one, admittedly, but to us it evidences our commitment to navigating the ever-shifting sands of emerging tech. Further, we want to be a part of the community that shifts bitcoin’s public perception away from use for nefarious deeds.

Bitcoin has been on my radar for a long while, and it was exciting to see it emerge on the international stage in 2012. There’s something delightfully old-world about a digital currency that acts – at least in part – like cash. To me, bitcoin is a store of value, pure and simple. I like to think of it as having a little pot of gold hiding inside my computer. I’m also excited by the ideas that serve as the foundation for this currency, and the way it makes one think about principles of value and money.

There is a misconception, drawn from the same fear of sites like the Silk Road (which, to my eye, was a good deal more useful than its public reputation suggests), that bitcoin is an untraceable, unethical currency – one destined for the back-alley deals of 21st century criminal enterprise. Certainly, it can and has been used towards those ends. And yes, it is more anonymous than using a credit card. But it is an innovation – and in my mind innovations shouldn’t be judged by the actions the worst of us would carry out with them.

All to say, bitcoin is modern and high tech, and we are a fast-moving, forward thinking startup. This is a match made in heaven. We want to explore the bitcoin option and allow our customers to make use of this exciting new medium of exchange. It’s a learning experience for us, to be sure, but we are excited to take it on.

Use bitcoin or any other currency to order a Hammerhead here.

All the best,


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!

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.


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!


Laurence’s thoughts on bicycle riding

1 May


As a cyclist I was allowed onto the streets of Johannesburg at the age of 14, imagine a city with traffic like Los Angeles, taxis like Bombay and zero bike lanes. Johannesburg was definitely a quick way to learn the rules and dangers of the road. If Go-Pro’s were around in the 90’s I think my family would have put me in a bubble and locked me in a velodrome. Fortunately my love for cycling, large amounts of youthful ignorance and a desire to explore completely overruled the dangers and allowed me to get to know the streets of Jozi. There simply was no greater freedom for a teenager. I could visit friends, ride through massive late-afternoon thunderstorms and skate across the smooth tar after the rains. The bicycle was my first real access to independence.

Cycling taught me an awareness on the road that I can confidently say has made me a better driver and far more road aware than friends who never “played” in the streets. When you are slightly podgy kid on a peugeot mountain-bike you are most definitely low on the road food chain in South Africa. As the years progressed I built up my bike and confidence of the better routes to and from friend’s houses. The worst intersection, the thinnest roads or pavements. Over my entire time riding I was fortunate to only be hit by cars twice, both minor accidents.

 My many other bicycle accidents tended to be related to attempts at riding up trees, into pavements without holding my bars or deciding that I was actually quite good at flying. Lets just say that icarus does exist in the cycling world and my four cracked helmets in my lifetime has taught me to wear them always! I recall a particularly bad accident in Cape Town, while crossing from side-walk to another, remember, very few bike lanes, I was riding in the evening and did not notice a  steel cable dividing the road and sidewalk. My last minute, side-ways sliding / being thrown into a gutter was another one of those …. well … terrible moments. Part of this could have been avoided by actually having a dedicated place to ride. Recently Cape Town has improved infrastructure and certainly has done more for cyclists than Johannesburg. The community in South Africa is growing, healthy and making the streets a better place to be. Since I have moved to the USA I have been particularly appreciative of the growing awareness of cyclists and installation of bike lanes in places I have lived.

Cycling still has a long way to come as an everyday occurrence in places like South Africa and the USA when compared to Europe. However, the last two years have arguably been some of the most exciting times for this transport’s history. Bike lanes and bicycle sharing programs are being pushed everywhere in the USA. I will go so far to say that cycling engages a community more, you recognize the nuances of your neighborhood, feel connected to places you visit and nothing quite brings a smile, well, at least in my opinion. It takes us out of our bubbles and puts our urban lives a little more in perspective. I commuted by car for 2 hours daily in Los Angeles last summer and can say that I developed a very advanced skill of being able to talk with myself. This my dear audience is not sanity.

Cycling, riding, taught me about the streets of Jozi, it showed me an appreciation for quiet parts of the city. Cycling was my first social network when I moved to the USA. I figured out how to ride from my Apartment in Riverside to the awesome trails of sycamore canyon and a group of friends that I made there. Each new place forced me to be a little lost for a while but eventually sniff out the better places to ride. It took me four bad bike routes to get into the Santa Monica Mountains from the beach but this is life as a cyclist it’s only those who ride regularly that get to know the city, and even then they end up sticking to routes they know well. While we have been bootstrapping in New Jersey I quickly discovered the value of asking a bike shop where to ride. However planning a route involved sleuthing from the given keywords of “Bear Mountain”, “9W” and some time on Google maps. It all really comes down to local insight and the ability to share it. 

I knew that Hammerhead was a service I could use and it would be valuable. We are all essentially tourists and explorers of our environment, I find a fresh take on an old route is often the best way of getting an appreciation for it. Very often that requires a friend to push you out of your habits. Our team hopes to work on bringing some insight into the average bicycle ride.


Regarding Schwinn CycleNav

8 Jan


Hello all,

We benefit from having a very engaged community of supporters, and we thank you for bringing to our attention the recent announcement of Schwinn’s CycleNav bike navigation device at CES in Las Vegas. We even saw multiple comments on different articles about the CycleNav in which people strongly articulated their support for Hammerhead.

We think that the announcement of the CycleNav is a great thing. We believe that the problem of creating safer, easier bike navigation is one really worth solving. The fact that there is going to be another device out there on the road that positively affects the cycling community is wonderful. We are excited to see that Wal-Mart might be carrying a product that could help a number of people – as this is the avenue through which many make their purchasing choices. Schwinn’s entry into this space further emphasizes that we are not alone in recognizing that bike navigation is an issue that needs to be solved.

Our vision however goes well beyond simply telling you where to go. We are building a system in which you will also be able to discover why you might want to go to a particular place. We are putting actionable human insight into what is a far too austere, disconnected experience at present. We are excited to be driving innovation within our favorite sport and we feel honored to see elements of our design in the Schwinn product.

Again, a big thank you to all of our fans who sent this our way.

Time to get back to work!

Piet & the Hammerhead Team

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