Interview with SmartHalo, Turning Bikes into Smart Bikes
SmartHalo is a smart biking system that lets you focus on what matters the most - the road. SmartHalo finds the quickest, safest routes to make your ride a stress-free experience. Get turn-by-turn navigation straight on your handlebars...a bike GPS communicated through an intuitive light halo. In addition, the app comes comes with extensive metrics including automatic calorie tracker, smart night light to keep you safe, weather alerts, alarm system, and only responds to it's rightful owner.
Tell us about Smart Halo, how did this project come about? Can SmartHalo work on any bike in any city?
We're urban cyclists who wanted to solve the biggest problems of biking in cities : navigation and security. Of course some bike GPS exist, but none we really adapted at urban commuting. They require to be removed after each ride, or will have a screen and a complicated interface. We wanted to create minimalist technology that would allow riders to focus on what matters - the road. We also wanted to tackle the issue of theft in big cities. This is why we decided to integrate an alarm system!
We're using Google Maps for navigation, meaning that it will work anywhere that has been mapped by Google.
Tell us about your Kickstarter campaign. Did anything surprise you? Any anecdotes to share in creating and running the Kickstarter campaign?
We certainly didn't expect to hit our 67,000$ goal in 15 hours! It's been amazing/hectic to answer all the questions coming from backers. You might think it's gonna be incredibly intense to launch your own campaign – you really have no idea!
Is it possible to make a profit with a Kickstarter campaign?
Good question. For us it's a way to create an initial customer base. We probably won't make a lot of profit from this first batch, but it will allow us to go into mass-production and in retail stores.
How did you create your Kickstarter video?
We hired friends from Montreal who do this for a living. So much work has gone into every detail. I've watched this video so many times I just can't watch it anymore. It's almost painful now ;)
Can you share tips for those considering crowdfunding their project?
It's very very important to create traction *before* the campaign. You need a list of emails of people who will buy it on Day 1. We had about 2,000, but maybe we should have had even more.
What’s next for Smart Halo?
There have been a lot of people asking for a matching backlight as well as a motorcyle version. We'll be looking into it!