Navigation lights on your bike, virtual reality as productivity tool

NEW YORK–How would you like your bike to guide your way with navigation lights? Hammerhead wants to lead the way with this idea. How would you like virtual reality as a productivity tool? IrisVR aspires to make that a seamless experience.

These were just two of the presenters at Hardwired NYC’s meetup last March 24 at Quirky at 28th West and 11th Avenue. The others were Brilliant Bike, American Prison Data Systems and Wink.

Hardwired NYC #18

Tuesday, Mar 24, 2015, 5:45 PM

606 West 28th Street, Floor 7 New York, NY

329 Members Went

Our speakers this month include:Nathan Smith, Head of Engineering at WinkPiet Morgan, Founder and CEO of Hammerhead (connected bike navigation system)Adam Kalamchi and Kane Hsieh, Founders of Brilliant (simple, beautiful, affordable direct-to-consumer bikes)Christopher Grewe, Founder of American Prison Data Systems (customized, hardware, softwa…

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Hammerhead’s Piet Morgan said the idea of a bike-mounted LED navigation came to him when he biked 63 days from New York to San Francisco and thinking how airplanes also require navigation lights. It has since been an 18-month work in progress in China. “We have an iOS app and will soon have an Android version. “We are working full speed on the Android development by the time we ship in the next few weeks,” he said.

The bike-mounted gizmo works with flashing diodes to give turn-by-turn navigation, crowdsourced paths (via Straya and MapMyRide) and even direction to the nearest Citibike exchange. Is this safer cycling? Hammerhead thinks so.

If you have the Hammerhead gadget then, you must want to try having your own bike from Brilliant Bike, a startup focused on cycling manufacturing and sustainable development. A startup built by bike enthusiasts Adam Kalamchi and Kane Hsieh, the bikes are meant to bring down pricing of bikes without scrimping on design. It is doing this by cutting out middlemen and big retail spaces to let you purchase bikes in advance—to your customization needs; it’s biking a la carte.

While also thinking of bringing prices down, Hsieh and Kalamchi stressed though how important it is to over-invest in early runs. “Cost engineering is a tempting but slipper slope,” Hiseh said.

For Shane Scranton of IrisVR, work can be everywhere –and he sees it in his VR tool for pros like architects, engineers and designers. Scranton said many tools are still confined to the computer screen. “Our software enables you to make immersive, VR walkthroughs on your computer,” he said, as he aspires to make it invisible, seamless, non-technical.

Scranton sees a lot of industries that can make use of it; industries like real estate, gaming, film and advertising worlds. What he’s most excited about is how to apply the multiplayer function in gaming and how to use it for productivity purposes. If it succeeds, he sees it as a way for companies to save on travel cost.

Its app currently supports SketchUP files but will add other tools later.

The other presenter, American Prison Data Systems (APDS), hopes to be an education, rehabilitation, and job training and placement for prisoners using technology.

The idea is for more inmates to get their GED and increase their book learning while behind bars, making them productive citizens when they get out of prison. But what makes it different from any social-civic undertaking is ho w prisoners will be able to join the digital revolution. APDS sees prisoners using tablets so they can study for their GED, do homework, and basically learn anything they can use to get their second chance out of prison.

As its parent company, Wink was also present to talk about Relay, a touchscreen that acts as a command and control center for all your connected devices. It allows you to monitor and manage everything in your home.

For Wink, it’s crucial then that it has Honeywell, Philips, Chamberlain, Schlage, GE and others developing Wink-compatible products while making it available to buy at Home Depot and Amazon.

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Dennis Clemente

Shuttling between New York and other US cities, Dennis writes about tech meetups when he's not too busy working as a Web Developer/Producer + UX Writer and Digital Marketer.

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