Archive for the Smarthalo Category

The First Kickstarter Units Have Been Delivered! (& Other Production and Shipping Updates)

05/11/2021 0:04

Hello cyclists,

We are starting this off by delivering some news regarding Kickstarter units — not only are SmartHalo 2 units on their way to being delivered by local couriers, some of our Kickstarter backers have already received their units! This is a big milestone on a project that has been challenging for not just us, but for you as well. 

But, it’s not over yet. We have news to share with you regarding the production and shipping status of our outstanding units. We understand it may be frustrating to see that other people have already received their units, but we also hope that it brings you a sense of enthusiasm, and perhaps a sense of relief. We really are on our way to fulfilling all pre-launch orders, and those units will be in your hands soon.

Below we’ve included the most up to date information regarding the current status of production. As always, we waited to release an update to make sure that we had the most accurate information possible.
 

Production Has Restarted

As we mentioned in the last update, coming back from Chinese New Year, the factory responsible for the top lens gluing process let us know that they were experiencing a higher-than-acceptable rate of failure when inspected for quality control. As a result, this was causing a bottleneck in our assembly process.

They wanted to improve the process to limit losses before restarting production. After testing multiple options, they have found the most efficient one. We want to emphasize again that none of the displays that failed the rigorous quality assurance standards made it onto any shipped units. The top lens factory is working hard to catch up. 

Meanwhile, the assembly factory has put the units together as much as they can so that they can hit the ground running once they have enough top lenses. With the bottleneck resolved, it’s only a matter of time before they are producing units at full capacity again.
 

Shipping and Delivery

Kickstarter

If you’re a Kickstarter backer and you wish to read more about the current status of deliveries, you can consult the latest Kickstarter update.

Indiegogo and Website Pre-orders

Logistics for our Indiegogo and Website pre-orders are currently being planned out, as production has restarted for the last component needed for final assembly units.

Once the factory communicates with us the new pace of production and assembly, we’ll be able to plan delivery logistics per geographical location with our shipping partners. As mentioned in the production paragraph above, we should know this in the coming days. We’ll keep you updated as soon as we have solid information on a timeline.

 

As we get closer to getting all units into the hands of our early adopters, we want to thank you all again for your support. This project has had many unforeseeable obstacles and understandably, it has been, to put it mildly, a rollercoaster. But with deliveries reaching the doorsteps of our backers, we’ll soon be embarking on the next phase of our journey (which includes deliveries of your very on SmartHalo 2 devices!).

As always, thank you for your patience and support.

– The SmartHalo Team

Image by Mika Baumeister

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Categories:Smarthalo

Unboxing a new SmartHalo 2? 5 features to try out right away

05/6/2021 0:02

 

1. Fastest, flattest or safest route? Choose the best one for you!

Going somewhere? You may know the way or it may be a path less traveled for you. Either way, SmartHalo 2 not only helps you navigate but also gives you the power to choose between several types of routes according to what you’re in the mood for that day: faster, safer, flatter or… a balance of all three types?

How does it work?

Open the SmartHalo app and enter a destination in the search bar of the Navigation tab. When available, you will be shown several route options on the map and a duration estimate for each one:

  • The fastest: perfect for a speed demon, but sometimes not the safest for cyclists as cycling lanes aren’t always available on the most direct paths.
  • The flattest: if you don’t feel like breaking a sweat cycling uphill that day, this option is for you.
  • The safest: using cycling lanes or quieter streets as much as possible to get you to your destination stress-free. 
  • Recommended: combines all of the above to give you a balanced route.

Try experimenting with each route type to find your favourite! Even if you know your way around, give Navigation a shot; maybe you’ll discover cool new routes!

2. Swipe through your ride’s key info

The metrics carousel! A brand new feature for SmartHalo 2 which allows you to consult key metrics via swipes on the touch surface, while you ride.

In the middle of the Halo you’ll find the new PeekDisplay™, which gives access to a range of ride metrics. A quick swipe allows you to browse through seven metrics while keeping your focus on the road:

How does it work?

To view the Metrics Carousel, you need to be connected to your SmartHalo 2. As soon as the device detects movement, it’ll turn on PeekDisplay, revealing the Carousel. After a period of inactivity, the Carousel will go to sleep to save battery life. Simply shake your device to turn it back on. 

The team is very excited by this new feature and the range of possibilities that the Carousel offers. We have many ideas on how to upgrade it over time, like a customization option and adding new metrics our users would find useful. At SmartHalo, we’re all about continuous software improvement based on user feedback, so if you have a new metric in mind, let us know!

3. Try to steal your own bike

We’re not kidding. We are. But we’re not. 

One of the most beloved features of the first generation is back with SmartHalo 2: peace of mind knowing your bike is safe. 

This is why we designed the alarm feature, a staple of the SmartHalo line. Once you’ve installed the Anti-Theft Mount on your handlebars (see tutorial here), you can lock your SmartHalo 2 onto it and confidently go about your day knowing that it will be soundly protected.

How does it work?

SmartHalo 2 can sense vibrations and movement. Once you leave your bike, the alarm arms  automatically by default (you can change this behaviour in the app should you want to). 

As soon as it detects tampering, it’ll gently warn the presumed thief with a first round of warnings: light buzzing sound + red Halo + angry face on the PeekDisplay. Why gently first? Well, we don’t want the nice cyclist trying to lock their bike next to yours to get an earful right away. Should the meddling persist (like in the case of an actual theft attempt) a 100dB alarm will go off. And trust us, it is loud… we’re talking car alarm-level loud.

If the meddling stops, SmartHalo 2 will stop the alarm; no maddening, never-ending alarms like some cars have! 

There’s a couple of alarm customization options for you to discover as well. Learn more about them by visiting the Alarm section in our Help Center.

Go ahead, try it! Cut your bluetooth connection to simulate you leaving your bike. Then, shake your bike and hear it for yourself. We advise trying it on an open street and not a closed garage (trust us on that one). Thieves beware!

4. Link your fitness app

“If it’s not on Strava, it didn’t happen!”

With SmartHalo 2, you can automatically push your rides to Strava or Apple Health.

As soon as you start pedalling, SmartHalo 2 automatically tracks your cycling metrics; there’s no “start” button to push. At the end of your ride, you’ll be able consult your distance, time, speed, average speed and calories in the SmartHalo app’s Fitness tab.

Once your Strava or Apple Health accounts are linked, all metrics will be uploaded automatically to both platforms — no need to think about it, just ride!  

How does it work?

To learn how to connect your Strava account, head to this article  on our Help Center. For Apple Health, it’s all here

These two apps are the most used by the SmartHalo community so we were happy to include them. We encourage you to check them out if you don’t know them yet! If you use another fitness app and you’re wondering if we could work on an integration with SmartHalo, let us know

5. Take a night ride

In the spirit of an all-in-one cycling device, we made sure to include an automatic front light in the design of SmartHalo 2. That said, we knew from user feedback and our own use of the first generation that we needed to take it up a notch.

SmartHalo 2 sports a completely redesigned, all-powerful front light. It is now a whopping 5x brighter than the original version. 

How does it work?

The front light automatically turns on when the sun goes down. You can also turn it on manually by tapping twice on the Touch Surface. You can choose between two modes: normal (AKA steady) or blinking. Oh, and no need to worry about turning the light off; it’ll always turn off on its own when you’re done riding to preserve battery life.

Whether you’re on a poorly lit road in the countryside or riding down an avenue in a busy city at night, it’s important to see and be seen. With SmartHalo 2, you’ll light up your night rides like never before.

The post Unboxing a new SmartHalo 2? 5 features to try out right away appeared first on Smarthalo.


Categories:Smarthalo

April: Production & Shipping Update

04/10/2021 0:05

Hello fellow cyclist,

We’re sure you’re eager to hear about what’s happened since the last update. Please note this update is a slightly lengthy one, as there have been many developments since the last one before Chinese New Year. For the sake of clarity, we’ve touched upon our first shipment going to our Kickstarter backers a little before going into the details of what’s currently happening with Indiegogo and Website pre-orders.

Production

On the production side, our factories responsible for creating the many parts that make up SmartHalo 2 have been working hard since resuming production post Chinese New Year. We are now 3/4 away from producing all of the printed circuit boards that go into the final assembled units, and all plastic parts have been produced.

Coming back from Chinese New Year, we hit one roadblock though. The final assembly of the new units has slowed down due to a bottleneck at the factory responsible for bonding the PeekDisplay™ to the top lens. We learned that they are experiencing higher-than-acceptable rejection rates due to issues in the current gluing process. We want to emphasize that none of the displays that failed to meet the rigorous quality assurance standards made it onto any shipped units. 

Since being notified of this issue, our partners in China have been working tirelessly to find a solution, which we expect soon. We will then be able to update you about the production pace for batch #2 more accurately. We apologize for the situation at this time.

Shipment #1: Kickstarter backers

A quick update: We’re happy to say that our first shipment of units, destined for our Kickstarter backers, have docked in Montreal and Rotterdam! The cargo units have cleared customs and are now in their respective warehouses. They will require about eight to 10 days to process and package the units and accessories. They will then be picked up by a local courier and delivered to our Kickstarter backers.

Other news for the remaining backers that were not covered with those 2 batches: We have been informed by our overseas partners this week that we currently have about 2000 units ready at the assembly factory. These units will cover the UK backers, the remaining European backers and backers from Asia and Oceania. For the UK and Europe, our logistics team has started the administrative process to get the units in cargos. They should be able to ship within 15 days. For Oceania and Asia, logistics is working on a country-by-country basis plan, and we’ll have more shipping details in the next update.

For the remaining backers outside of the territories aforementioned, you will be prioritised with the first units from the new production that will resume as soon as the bonding issue is solved. We will keep you posted in the next update.

For more detailed information regarding Kickstarter orders, you can check our update on the platform.

Shipment #2 – Indiegogo and SmartHalo Website Pre-orders

If you’re an Indiegogo backer:

Earlier this update we mentioned the bottleneck in the bonding factory that has slowed down production and assembly of the final units. We expect good news in the coming week from our overseas partners. 

As soon as we get confirmation that the new processes are working smoothly and that the production has ramped up, we will have more information for your timeline. We will also share more details on the shipping plan for your region of the world.

Stay tuned, and as always, we will provide the most accurate information as quickly as possible.

If you’ve pre-ordered on the SmartHalo Website:

Earlier this update we mentioned the bottleneck in the bonding factory that has slowed down production and assembly of the final units. We expect good news in the coming week from our overseas partners. 

As soon as we get confirmation that the new processes are working smoothly and that the production has ramped up, we will have more information for your timeline.

Like our first shipment, we will be sending cargo by boat with a travel time estimated at 4 to 6 weeks. Then we expect the cargo to clear customs and be unloaded in about five days. Following this, the warehouse will require about eight to 10 days to process and package the units and accessories. They will then be picked up by a local courier and delivered to you.

Stay tuned, and as always, we will provide the most accurate information as quickly as possible.

We know this update is bittersweet for those of you who will not be receiving your units just yet. The news of upcoming deliveries means we’re one step closer to delivering all units, so thank you all for being so patient as we roll the shipments out. We are expecting good news soon and will share it with you as soon as we have the information. Thank you for your patience as we move forward with the delivery and for your support.

As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions you have.

– The SmartHalo team

Main image par Sergio Souza

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Categories:Smarthalo

How 2020 Made Cyclists Brave Enough to Bike Through Winter

04/1/2021 0:05

Most cyclists retire their bikes once the weather gets cold, but this past winter, we have seen an increase in cyclists well through the coldest season. In some places like our own city, Montreal, cyclists are continuing to ride their bike as their main form of transport, despite the snow, ice and salt. In fact, winter cycling trips in Montreal have increased 70% since 2020

The growth in winter cycling is part of a major trend we’ve seen throughout 2020 — the heightened anxiety over taking public transit, and the desire to get outside and maintain one’s sense of freedom due to the pandemic has resulted in what experts are calling the “bike boom”. From Europe to North America, the increasing amount of cyclists on the road is undeniable — and we are excited to see it!

This trend has left some experts questioning whether bikes are here to stay. In an interview with BBC, Morgan Lommele, director of state policy at People for Bikes, stated that we may be seeing some permanent changes in favour of the bicycle. “Most of the growth we see is in recreational cycling, which is a gateway to transportation biking,” he said. So, what does it take to keep the momentum going? Well, there are several factors, and surprisingly, this is where winter cycling and post-pandemic cycling intersect.

 

Safety: The number #1 reason for bike anxiety

When looking at the factors that make cycling difficult, the pains seem to remain relatively similar, regardless of season. Feeling unsafe seems to be one of the major factors in preventing people from cycling on a regular basis.

Will Butler-Adams, the director of UK’s Bromptom Bikes, said in an interview with BBC that he too believes safety to be one of the major factors that encouraged people to bike more. “Lockdown meant that suddenly the streets quietened, the air was clean and people felt safe.” Simply put, without having to share the road with cars, cyclists felt safer which in turn encouraged them to bike more.

Similarly, Matt Farough, our team’s software developer, and Eric Say Chan, one of our beta testers, also agree that one of the major factors preventing people from cycling, especially in the winter, is safety.

“I find one of the main deterrents among people is that they are afraid of riding in the streets in summer, and this is exacerbated in winter with the poor maintenance work by the city.”
– Eric Say Chan

Safety of cyclists is something that can be improved with better infrastructure. The pandemic and the resulting investment in cities all over the world to improve the lives of cyclists show that, if safety is taken care of, more people are likely to bike throughout all seasons.

From Paris investing in the creation of hundreds of kilometres of pop-up cycling lanes to Montreal’s very own Express Bike Network (Réseau Express Vélo) – an initiative that has created 184km of dedicated cycling paths – the proof is out there that if safety of cyclists are prioritized through better infrastructure, you’ll see more cyclists out on the road, regardless of subzero temperatures.

Keeping the momentum

While the jury is still out on whether or not the cycling renaissance will have a more permanent impact on urban travel, most agree that if cities continue to provide safer cycling routes, people will continue to bike. But, this isn’t a one-way street, for cities to continue investing in cycling infrastructure, we need cyclists — cyclists who will continue to grow the community.

As Xavier Peich, co-founder of SmartHalo says, “We need to talk more about how AWESOME [cycling] is!”

One year into this pandemic, more people are craving the sense of freedom and flexibility a bike can provide. While many pandemic cyclists may have opted to start riding because of their fear of public transport, Butler-Adams notes that “mostly it was the joy of experiencing cities as they could be” that kept people cycling. Cycling in the winter certainly gives you a completely different experience of one’s city.

 

If things continue in the current direction, we will most likely see more and more cyclists braving all four seasons on two wheels. If you’re in a city that still has yet to thaw from this winter, perhaps it’s time to grab your balaclava, gloves, and ski goggles and give winter cycling a try. If not, you have next winter to look forward to!

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Categories:Smarthalo

First Kickstarter Units Have Shipped!

02/25/2021 0:06

Hello fellow cyclist,

We have some big news to share — our first shipment of SmartHalo 2 has officially left the port! This is great news, as it means that we are one step closer to shipping out units for our Indiegogo backers and pre-order customers. We also wanted to give an update on what this means for the timeline.

Shipment #1: Kickstarter (North America & Europe)

Kickstarter backers from North America and Europe, we’re happy to inform you that your SmartHalo 2 units have left port. 

In total, we were able to ship out 8,500 units split between the two continents. It’s not the 10K we hoped for but, because we had to factor in the exceptional congestion at the port, the factory packed up all the units they managed to complete and delivered them on February 4 so we didn’t miss the pre-Chinese New Year critical window. This means that all North American backers will receive their units with this shipment, as will 90% of European backers.

See the recent Kickstarter update for the full breakdown of the ordered units and a visual timeline.

Shipment #2: Kickstarter (rest of the world), Indiegogo and Pre-orders

With one shipment out at sea, this means our manufacturing partners will be able to focus on remaining orders once their factory reopens after Chinese New Year festivities. Please note that Chinese New Year is a weeks-long celebration, and they have informed us that they are likely to resume production at the beginning of March. If everything goes according to plan, our second batch of units will be ready to ship in April.

The delivery order follows the order in which the SmartHalo 2 campaign was launched (Kickstarter first, then Indiegogo and pre-order from our site). Next, we went by making sure we fulfilled the orders by prioritizing the continents with the most backers to ensure we maximize the space available on our cargo units. This is why North American and European Kickstarter backers will receive their units with the first shipment. 

If you’re a Kickstarter backer outside of North America or Europe:

This second shipment will deliver the remaining units to the Kickstarter backers in the rest of the world. We are still finalizing the logistics for backers outside of North America and Europe as the fewer units ordered means we will be delivering on a country-by-country basis. We are still looking at a spring delivery and we will have more news once production resumes after Chinese New Year celebrations.

If you’re an Indiegogo backer:

This second shipment will include all units going to North America, Europe, and other continents. The delivery to North American and European backers will unfold the same way as it has for our Kickstarter backers, with our cargo ships docking in Montreal and Rotterdam. From those two cities, the units will be stored in a warehouse, from which point the local courier will deliver them across the continents. Outside of the two continents, we are still finalizing the logistics for those orders as the fewer units ordered means we will be delivering on a country-by-country basis. We are still looking at a spring delivery and we will have more news once production resumes after Chinese New Year celebrations.

If you pre-ordered through our Website:

This second shipment will include all pre-ordered units. Shipments will be sent to North America and Europe, where ships will dock in Montreal and Rotterdam. After clearing customs, the units will be stored in our warehouses, processed and shipped by the local courier to you. We are still looking at a spring delivery and we will have more news once production resumes after Chinese New Year celebrations.

 

We will have more information to share with you once production resumes, but the wait is almost over!

As always, please feel free to reach out with any questions you have.

– The SmartHalo team

Main image by Rinson Chory

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Categories:Smarthalo

Hello 2021: A Quick Update

01/29/2021 0:13

Hello fellow cyclist,

We hope you all had a restful start to the new year. We wanted to give you all a quick update with the latest information given to us by our manufacturers overseas.

Production status & shipping

As mentioned in previous updates, the factory has been steadily producing units. Our overseas partners are finally in a place where they are able to ramp up production. As of writing this, we are averaging about 700 units produced per day and currently we are close to having 10 000 units ready to ship before Chinese New Year.

This covers a good chunk of our orders but not all of them. We were hoping for the production pace to be higher by now but we have to work with what our overseas partners provide us.

A behind-the-scenes look at our units being assembled.

Last update we mentioned that we had to rethink our entire shipping logistics/strategy. After exploring all shipping options available to us as of this time, our search has finally come to an end. Currently, air freight is still too costly, but we’re happy to say we have found a boat courier partner.

We’re proceeding to ship a first batch of as many units as we have right now before Chinese New Year temporarily pauses production. We’ll be delivering the units based on the order in which the campaigns went live. With the production feedback we’re getting from the factory this is what we’re looking at:

  • If you backed us on Kickstarter

Your order will most likely be on the first set of shipments. They will be out of the factory to the harbour in the next few days. The boat will then depart the first week of February, before the Chinese New Year. For more specific details please refer to the Kickstarter update published this week.

  • If you backed us on Indiegogo

Your order will ship after Chinese New Year with the second production run. Two containers will be leaving with the main bulk of the orders. One will head to a warehouse in North America, and one to a warehouse in Europe (to a port unaffected by Brexit, no worries there!). We’re working on another cargo to deliver units to our backers in Asia and the Pacific. For the remaining territories, we’re working on a plan on a country by country basis.

At the moment we are unable to give more details on individual orders but we are still looking at Mid/Late Spring delivery. We will have a more precise delivery schedule once production resumes after the Chinese New Year.

  • If you pre-ordered your unit on our Website

Your order will ship after Chinese New Year with the second production run. Like Indiegogo, your order will be in one of the two containers heading for North America and for Europe.

At the moment we are unable to give more details on individual orders but we are still looking at Mid/Late Spring delivery. We will have a more precise delivery schedule once production resumes after the Chinese New Year. It’s been a long wait, so thank you so much for your patience!

Adding the finishing touches to your SmartHalo 2.

 

Software/Beta Testing

We’ve been pretty quiet about what’s been going on on the software end for the past few updates, and most of it has been due to our team working hard to find and squash any potential bugs we encounter while finalizing the main features. Our team of winter cyclist beta testers have been testing our SmartHalo 2 prototypes to their limits. This has allowed us to make sure that the devices shipped to you will deliver a smooth experience.

We’ve mentioned how we wish to continually improve SmartHalo 2 by introducing new features throughout the lifetime of the product — this beta testing program has helped us develop an ecosystem for user feedback that will help us improve the device long term. We’re excited to have our units in even more hands so we can continue to improve the experience for cyclists. And once shipping begins, we will have the opportunity to share with you more about the software side and functionalities in general!

As always, feel free to let us know if you have any questions.

– The SmartHalo Team

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Categories:Smarthalo

Last Minute Holiday Gift Ideas: Make A Cyclist Wheely Happy!

01/11/2021 23:16

With traveling limited and gatherings prohibited, many people are turning to online shopping as a way of gift-giving this year. While it is tempting to hop onto a big box store’s site and place an order, many customers are choosing to support smaller businesses this holiday season instead — perhaps this is you! 

Luckily the cycling world is full of passionate and creative cyclists!

So, you want to buy something for your bike-obsessed loved one but you’ve left your shopping to the last minute! The following gift ideas are guaranteed to put a smile on your cyclist’s face. Some of these products are currently on pre-order, silver-lining being you won’t have to worry about late deliveries. Instead, they come with a holiday card to put under the Christmas tree.

These gifts have been thoughtfully selected by fellow bike enthusiasts here at SmartHalo, so they come with a seal of approval. Like us, these companies have faced their most challenging year yet. Besides featuring them, we also took this opportunity to discuss 2020 and the value of cycling with them.

 

GREEN DISC – Bike chain care made easy & eco-friendly

Simple, intuitive, and eco-friendly — three words we absolutely love seeing paired with cycling! From the experienced company behind multiple successful cycling Kickstarter projects, GREEN DISC is a new way to care for that essential part of your bike. You know, the part that we always put off caring for because it’s greasy, messy, and just no fun.

From the creators

Lubricate your bike chain with Green Disc in seconds & protect the environment! Green Disc is a smart tool for the basic care of your bike chain. Small, refillable and super easy to handle. 

What was the biggest challenge for your company this year?

The central challenge in 2020 was global shipping. Everything became incredibly expensive in spring. Meanwhile, we have optimized the shipping processes and changed partners and have become better than before because of it. Even more cost-effective. This year has changed a lot for us — at least for the better at this point. 

– Jorg Neugebauer, Managing Director @ DRIVT.BIKE

Green Disc – €19.80/$24.06 USD 
With the discount code “GREENDISC-20” you get even 20% off until January 5, 2021. (Just apply the code at checkout!)

 

AIRHEAD – Move more. Stress Less. Breathe Easy.

Masks are the new normal — they protect us and others around us. Airhead recognizes that masks not only protect us from harmful bacteria and viruses, they can protect us from pollutants in the air as well. Designed with the urban cyclist in mind, Airhead lets you breathe easy.

From the creators

A pollution mask designed to help you move more and stay protected, comfortably. Pre-order now for someone special, and they’ll be first in line for delivery in the spring. You’ll even receive an Airhead holiday card, so the lucky recipient will still have something to open on the day!

What does cycling mean to you?

Cycling is the single best thing I have learnt to do in the last 10 years. 5 years ago I had never ridden a bike in a city out of concern for my safety. However, in 2016 I decided to change that by setting myself the (fairly silly) challenge of cycling solo from London to Rome. This trip changed my life for the better and I now firmly believe cycling can solve, in part, many of today’s issues in society: obesity, pollution, poor mental health and congestion. I really believe everyone’s life can be improved in some way by cycling more often!

– Elliot Denvir, Co-Founder @ Airhead

Airhead mask – €77.95/$95 USD

 

LUMOS  – The new connected standard in bike helmets

Safety first! Cyclists know just how quickly a pleasant bike ride can turn into a dangerous situation. That’s why we love how Lumos has updated a cycling safety staple: the helmet.

From the creators

If you cycle, be it for commute, leisure or fitness, the Lumos Ultra might be the perfect helmet for you.

It’s a smart bike helmet integrated with front light, rear lights, turn signals and other smart features to prevent an accident from happening. It is also crash test certified, ventilated and lightweight – which truly makes it the safest helmet on the road and the ultimate cycling accessory.

What was the biggest challenge for your company this year?

2020 has been a special year. We have launched our newest & greatest helmet, Ultra, in the darkest moments of the pandemic. The success quickly turned into a sense of responsibility to quickly deliver and help the community ride safely.

However, our team became disconnected locally & internationally, a large part of the team couldn’t reach the factories in person, prototyping became slower, feedback was harder to get and these were further amplified by the fact we had to develop & deliver a total 13 new products & accessories. Tough times build character. People stepped up, took more responsibility and overall focused on improving communication so that the whole team remains aligned and focused. I am happy to say that even though “hardware is hard” in the good times, our team has worked and delivered “harder”.

– Ivo Toman, Product Manager @ Lumos

Lumos Helmet – €69/$84 USD

 

LAKA – Because all vehicles should be protected

Insurance might not be a physical present, but that’s also what makes it the perfect last-minute gift for your beloved cyclist. Companies like Laka in the UK are revolutionizing the insurance industry by covering bicycles the way we cover our cars. Give your cyclist a peace of mind with this gift.

Safety and bike protection have always been brand staples at SmartHalo. So when Laka approached us for a partnership, it made absolute sense. If you’re based in the UK and subscribe to Laka you’ll benefit from a discount on SmartHalo 2.

Laka – Insurance for UK cyclists.
Rest of the world cyclists: if you would like us to partner with an insurance company to cover you where you live, or if you know of a great one let us know here

 

GROW CYCLING FOUNDATION – Donating on behalf of the cyclist

Grow Cycling Foundation is a Black-led organization working towards the goal of diversifying the world of cycling. We all know that feeling of discovery, of learning just how freeing, exciting and fun cycling is.

GCF wants to bring this to the communities of colour. They recognize the lack of diversity when it comes to “cycling competition, media, business, media and development opportunities,” and are working towards finding empowering solutions that will make the future of cycling more diverse and accessible to Black, Indigenous and other People of Colour. While the organization operates in North America, they have plans to expand globally, recognizing that this is a global issue.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

A post shared by Grow Cycling (@growcyclingfoundation)

GCF’s first project is to create a pump track in the Los Angeles area in the USA. This will open up cycling competition and opportunities in the area.

GCF – one-time donation or a recurring donation.

 

GLINT REFLECTIVE STICKERS – Be visible from every angle

Be seen and stay safe, even in the darkest of nights. Our very own co-founder and CDO, Gab, puts it nicely when he says, “Sometimes, the simple solutions are the brightest: these reflective stickers will make sure you’re seen at night without adding bulky reflectors to your sexy bike.”

Glint Reflective’s low-profile design and weatherproof construction makes them compatible with any bike frame material. They even have stickers for bike accessories such as helmets and bike racks. These reflective stickers really stick and provide long-lasting visibility (when tested under harsh conditions, they lasted seven years). 

 A bonus: they’re a Canadian company, just like us!

Glint – starting at $8.99 CAD

 

BONUS: SMARTHALO 2

Of course, we would be lying if we didn’t think our very own SmartHalo 2 would make the perfect Christmas gift! SmartHalo 2 is the ultimate all-in-one bike buddy for that cyclist in your life. An anti-theft alarm, navigation system, front light, personal assistant, and so much more, you can give the bicycle a smart update so your cyclist can focus on what’s most important: the ride.

With SmartHalo 2 still on pre-order, you can purchase the device now, download a personalized card to give this Christmas, and come cycling season 2021, the device will arrive at your cyclist’s doorstep. No need to let SmartHalo 2 sit there, collecting dust (along with their bike) — receive it, install it, and ride that bike come Spring!

SmartHalo 2 – $159.99 USD
Personalized holiday card available for download to put under the Christmas tree.

 

:camera_with_flash: Main image by Rocco Dipoppa

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December Update: Production & Shipping

01/11/2021 23:15

Hello fellow cyclists,

With November having come and gone, we are sure many of you are eagerly waiting on an update. Unfortunately, we were unable to meet our goal of shipping out our first batch of units at the end of November. In this update, we will explain what’s currently stalling our project, and the ways in which we are working hard to remedy this situation. It’s an update on the longer side but we hope you’ll read it in full. 

Current Production Status

Production is currently ongoing, and while we aren’t producing units as quickly as we had hoped, we are increasing the output steadily. Our team and our partners are working very hard to get the units assembled, checked, and packaged (see end of the update for pictures directly from our manufacturing partners). We really want to share SmartHalo 2 with you all now, but there is currently a major snag, beyond our control, that we are trying to overcome.

The Holidays & The Great “Shipageddon”

For the past few updates, we’ve mentioned how the pandemic has been causing difficulties with the production of our units. Shipping has been touched upon briefly in our updates but the situation has been exacerbated due to the approaching holidays.

With the pandemic affecting how people are shopping for the holidays, shipping companies are finding themselves in more demand than they can handle. As a result, this holiday season will be unlike any other. In fact, some shipping companies are calling this year’s holiday season “Shipageddon”. Shipping rates have increased exponentially, to a point where smaller businesses (us included) are unable to afford the rates that are currently being offered. Additionally, the limited spaces available on cargo flights are making it impossible for many businesses to ship their products at all.

Unlike the giants like Amazon and other big-name retailers, smaller businesses such as ours deal with smaller volumes of orders and can’t receive preferential rates and treatment for shipping that they do. We are also shipping freshly produced units from Asia to all over the world, which is a longer process than that of retailers working with stock that is already in local warehouses. Currently, shipping costs have more than tripled from the original amount we charged our backers, with no guarantee that it will arrive before Christmas.

You might be wondering how a project that raised over a million dollars is unable to afford the increased shipping costs, and we would like to be honest with you about the cost of our project. SmartHalo 2 has been a much more expensive venture than we had originally predicted due to the struggles and delays the pandemic has caused. 

With our devices priced with the average cyclist in mind, and with plans to continue to update and improve the software long term, our margins are already quite small. This means we do not have the capacity to fund the tripled shipping cost for the thousands of units to be delivered.

Please note that unfortunately, individual shipping of devices is not possible, as the cost of the logistics and transport involved would be much higher than even the updated commercial rates we are sharing above. The only option is to ship our orders in bulk to each territory to be dispatched.

The Updated Timeline

Now that we’ve explained the Shipageddon of 2020, we’re sure you’re wondering what that means for our timeline. 

Once the holidays are over, we are expecting shipping prices to drop, but most likely not to the levels of the quotes we had during the planning phase of our project. This means that, although it is the fastest option, shipping the units by plane may not be feasible. We will nevertheless be keeping a close eye on the rates, but it’s unlikely that it will be possible. 

Please know that our team is looking at every avenue possible to face this new challenge. As we are awaiting new quotes and estimated delivery times, we can’t provide a firm timeline yet. But, we’d rather be as realistic as possible even though the news hurts: considering the delays associated with alternative shipping methods, units probably won’t make their way to you before March. We will update you as soon as we receive clearer timelines from our logistics partners.

We understand that these delays are incredibly frustrating for our backers, and our team shares these frustrations — we want nothing more than to be able to finally have SmartHalo 2 out for everyone to enjoy. 

Pictures! And What 2020 Has Felt Like For SmartHalo HQ

Each of us that make up the small team here in Montreal is feeling the insurmountable pressure that comes from disappointing our backers time and time again. The reality is that this pandemic has had consequences on every single level of not just our business, but on our personal lives as well.

While SmartHalo 2 is a bike accessory, it is also our dreams, ideas, and livelihood for those of us working on it. We are trying our best with the cards dealt to us. We hope that the new year will bring forth some better luck!

 

We wanted to end this update with some photos from our factory. Despite the frustratingly long journey SmartHalo 2 has been, we are truly nearing the finish line. Here are some photos of assembled units that are on their way to be packaged and stored!

As always, feel free to reach out with any questions. We can’t thank you enough for supporting us through this strange year, and now this holiday season.

– The SmartHalo Team

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Production Update: Mass Production & Shipping Timeline

01/11/2021 23:15

Hello cyclists,

Last week, we mentioned that we were waiting on the final units to pass quality control this week to begin mass production. This past Friday we received a few finalized units at our headquarters here in Montreal. These were sent to us from our manufacturing partner abroad so that we could do our own personal quality control test. We’ve got some exciting beauty shots for you to wet your appetite with, but it does come with some testing news.

Let’s talk about test results first. For our cyclists who like to know about technical details, the following two paragraphs are for you! For those who prefer to look at pretty pictures, you can jump towards the end of the update – don’t forget to take a look at the timeline on the way down! 😉

Tests Results and Fixes

So, when our team here ran our own set of tests, it revealed some minor issues that needed fixing. This is what final quality control is all about! Specifically, there were two issues that needed to be resolved. First, we noticed that the piezo (the small speaker that goes inside your SmartHalo 2 to create the alarm sound) was not glued in as firmly as we’d like. We had specifically used the same adhesive as we used in our original SmartHalo, so we did not expect to run into this issue, especially since our hand-assembled units seemed to not have the same problem. We discovered that when we were building the units by hand, adhesive was being more heavily applied to the piezo. Now that we know this, we’ve tweaked our assembly process so that more glue would be used to the piezo.

Secondly, we discovered that the manufacturer’s flashing jig was malfunctioning intermittently. The flashing jig is a machine we’ve built to program our printed circuit boards (PCB). This custom-built device programs the firmware into the PCB, and tests multiple points of the PCB to ensure everything is in working order. While the PCB has been finalized and is fully functional, we discovered that some units’ programming was failing due to the flashing jig malfunction. Upon closer inspection, our team pinpointed the error to a bad connection between some of the wires. The highly complex process requires all the tests from multiple points to be transferred to the “head” of the device. Then, it is sent to the computer where the data is stored. This is where the wiring had been intermittently disconnected. Since identifying the problem, the team has fixed it to ensure that we can test the thousands of devices we will be manufacturing in the upcoming days.

Visual Timeline

We adjusted the latest timeline accordingly. Below, we’ve attached an updated timeline for you to view. We’ll update it with each new update as we get closer to shipping. Please note: this calendar concerns purchases made before October 6, 2020.

Let’s See It!

Despite these issues, the finalized SmartHalo 2 looks and functions great! It’s been a while since we last had some beauty shots to share, so we’re excited to share these with you all.

The navigation view of SmartHalo 2

You can see that the screen is tinted enough to achieve more of the “dead front” effect we originally envisioned without sacrificing too much the readability of the screen during the day.

Here are some shots of it on a bike:

Speedometer view of SmartHalo 2 on a bicycle.

SmartHalo 2 with its front light on.

As always, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions. Thank you for your support!

– The SmartHalo Team

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An Honest Look at Developing a New Product During Unpredictable Times

01/11/2021 23:15

Dear Cyclists,

2020 has been an unpredictable and difficult year for all of us. The pandemic has had an impact on every single one of us personally, communally, and globally. SmartHalo, like many other businesses, has not been exempt from these trying times. While our team has been working hard to adjust to the new realities of the pandemic, it has had a major impact on our ability to stick to our original timeline.

Many of you have been closely following the production updates and no doubt, these delays have understandably frustrated you. We wanted to thank you again for your continued support and explain in more detail as to why these delays have been happening.

For every single piece of hardware that makes up SmartHalo 2, we require a sample and multiple tests to make sure that the piece is up to our standards. Normally, during production, we would have someone at the factories in China, overseeing the process in person. Unfortunately, with the current travel restrictions, every single piece must be shipped to our office here in Montreal to be approved for production. If it doesn’t meet our standards, then more samples must be produced and sent our way. You can imagine the amount of extra time the back and forth requires, especially given the unpredictable international shipping times currently.

We’ve also had to make some last minute design changes, which further compounds the delay. As there has never been another device like SmartHalo 2, sometimes we’ve had to make creative adjustments when we’ve run into roadblocks. It’s been a delicate balance of staying true to the original design while making choices that would not further delay the production process.

With what’s going on in the world and cycling being one of the few safe ways of getting out and enjoying ourselves, we understand what a disappointment it has been watching SmartHalo 2 shipping times be delayed multiple times. But, we’re happy to say the wait is almost over.

We are at last approaching the final production phase for SmartHalo 2. We are producing our first 500 units in the coming weeks. If the first batch of units meet our standards (which is important to note), we will be ramping up production to 5000 units per week soon after. This means that it will take about one month to complete all pre-orders and customers should start receiving their SmartHalo 2 at the end of October.

Thank you again for your patience and for supporting our company in these difficult times.

As always, do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions and stay safe!

– The SmartHalo team

PS: soon you will receive a form that will allow you to update your shipping address if need be.

 

The post An Honest Look at Developing a New Product During Unpredictable Times appeared first on Smarthalo.


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