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Image credit: Roberto Baldwin / Engadget

Velco's smart handlebars use lights to guide you home

Turn-by-turn directions without the screen.
Roberto Baldwin / Engadget

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Smartphones are great for getting you where you want to go. But when you're on two wheels, it can be tough to keep track of your progress. You either have to pull over, or attach your device to the handlebars. Velco's "Wink" smart handlebar solves that issue while also adding additional security to any bike it's attached too.

The Wink handlebar uses lights adjacent to both grips that indicate which direction you need to go after the rider has created a path with the companion app. If the right light is illuminated, you turn right; if the left, you turn left. If both are illuminated, you go straight. It's turn-by-turn navigation without the non-stop barrage of notifications coming from your phone.


But if you're someone who needs to be connected, the Wink will notify you when you receive a text message or call.

On the security side, the handlebar is equipped with GPS and can be tracked in case your bike is stolen or more embarrassingly, you forgot where you parked it. With three-week battery life, it'll be easier for you or the proper authorities to track down your missing bicycle, or at the very least the handlebars.

In addition to keeping the bike safe, it'll notify a predetermined friend or family member if the handlebar determines there's been an accident thanks to the onboard accelerometer.

Finally, it also doubles as a light for riding with two beams ready to pierce the night. Of course, all these fancy features come at a price -- and a hefty one, at that. The Wink's launch price is €280 ($337) . It'll ship in Europe this March and North America and Asia by the end of the year.

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