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Brief Published: 5 Nov 2015

BeeLine: Smart Navigation for Cyclists


BeeLine is a navigational device for city cyclists that strips back instructions to the bare essentials, encouraging riders to select their own routes while still guaranteeing they will reach their destination. In the UK, 45% of cyclists are based in London alone – making smart solutions for urban riders a market with large potential (Mintel, 2014).

The small, round device has a reduced interface featuring an arrow that points in the direction of travel, plus the distance to go – the route itself is up to the cyclist. The user simply follows the direction of the arrow, making their own choices as to which turns and roads to take. BeeLine puts the adventure back into urban cycling, empowering riders to choose a more interesting or safer route, depending on their own experience as they ride.

Along with negating the need to stop and check directions, the simplified device also reduces distractions while cycling – avoiding reading complex instructions or street names. Users set their final destination in the accompanying app, with the option to designate specific locations via which they'd like to travel, such as bridges.

The neat design has been created in collaboration with British industrial design consultancy Map. It straps onto the handlebars or frame with the round screen fitting precisely into the cradle – this fitting doubles as a screen protector when the device is not in use. Measuring one inch across, the e-ink screen features a backlight and is also rainproof – making the device suitable for all weather conditions. The low-power screen enables an average battery life of four weeks.

BeeLine fits into a new wave of products that are freeing functionality from everyday restraints to create a more flexible and intuitive consumer experience – see Liberating Innovation: Proactive Products for further insight. This approach feeds into our S/S 17 Design Direction Rational, in which technology is reduced to minimise distractions and create liberation through simplification.