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Smart glove gives bikers turn-by-turn navigation

Why it matters to you

It could be a decent solution for motorcyclists fed up with trying to follow turn-by-turn data on their smartphone.

If you’re a motorcyclist that enjoys longer rides to new places, there’s a good chance that you mount your smartphone on your handlebars and fire up a maps app to find your way. But for some this is not an ideal solution. Atlanta biker Steve Friedlander, for one, found that the display could sometimes be hard to see, whether because of harsh light or the shaking from bumps in the road.

“Sometimes I would drive my car instead of riding just because I needed GPS,” Friedlander told Digital Trends.

The problem inspired him to develop the TurnPoint, a smart glove with a Bluetooth LE device that pulls data from your smartphone to show turn-by-turn directions via 18 super-bright LED lights. The circular device is removable and slots into the top side of the left glove so it’s easy to see.

Friedlander said the LEDs notify the rider 1) of the distance to the next turn, 2) when they arrive at the turn, and 3) which way to turn.

This means you can receive all the information you need at a glance, pretty much without taking your eyes off the road, making for a safer ride.

And there’s more. The glove incorporates a switch-like feature that lets you use your fingertips to control the connection between the device and your phone. Touch your thumb and pointer finger together and an LED sequence lights up on the TurnPoint device indicating the distance and direction to the next turn. This not only prevents the LEDs from becoming a distraction, but also lets you actively check for the next turn, and even helps to preserve the TurnPoint’s battery life, which currently stands at around eight hours on a single charge.

The design is also set to include additional fingertip switches for functions such as displaying a compass and showing battery life.

The TurnPoint is a Kickstarter project that’s looking for $125,000 of funding. Friedlander, who has more than 20 years of experience in UX design, engineering, and consumer gadget development, has already built working prototypes of the glove-based device, the glove, and the app.

An early-bird deals offers the complete TurnPoint package for $149, that’s a decent $100 saving off the expected retail price of $249. Shipping is currently to U.S. addresses only, with a January 2018 delivery date expected.