Guiding My Bike

Frustrated with the lack of cheap and efficient GPS systems for motorbikes, passionate biker Stephen Dettman was driven to conceptualize the MotoMap GPS Device for Bikes. Banking on two really exciting technologies, Powerfilm flexible solar panels and E-Ink flexible displays, to help him realize this project; Steve hopes to give us the mother of navigation devices that doesn’t limit itself to a tablet size.

The MotoMap also tackles issues like hardware mounting and lack of compatibility for most new motorcycles that no longer have round handlebars. It wraps itself around the fuel tank and the adjustable strap coupled with magnets inside the unit, secure the device into place. The detachable Map Unit of the device hosts the Powerfilm flexible solar panel on one side and the E-Ink display on the other. So when you are not using the navigation tools, you can flip over the unit and stock up on solar-juice.

E-Ink display looks to be a wise choice for this device. As the unit wraps around the tank, the images won’t get distorted when the display gets slightly curved around the corners. Moreover the glare from the sun won’t affect the visibility of the display as much. Also E-Ink doesn’t use up too much of power.

As a special treat for bikers who ride with gloves, Steve has designed the control unit’s UI in such a way that they need not remove their gloves to navigate through the map library.

Designer: Stephen Dettman

17 Comments

  • PK says:

    BRILLIANT!!

  • Dan says:

    Increase the size of the buttons, add a connection to the bike’s batterie and place the solar cells besides the map, so that you can load WHILE using the map and don’t rely on magnets – most newer bike’s gas tanks are made out of plastic and therefor not magnetic.
    The idea with the E-ink is great, it definetly got potential. Finally there wouldbe a FLAT map device.

  • BJC says:

    Move the buttons/controls to the top of the display so they are easier to see with a full-face helmet on. That way you don’t have to tilt your head down so far and you are more likely to see what’s coming ahead of you.

    • Henrique Staino says:

      keep the controls where they are. You can always feel the buttons with your fingers and tell one from the other, but you cant do that with the map. And the map is what you want to see, right?

  • TK says:

    Love the device… I’m ready to by now… please make sure it has audio out and can upload personal goggle GPS maps…

  • peter says:

    I use my GPS with headphones in my helmet. No map, no visual interference. Just voice navigation. More than efficient. It works beatifully – 100% better than visual navigation. I never got lost so I think I can say is 100% succesful.

    As a ex-bike currier I was trying to use TomTom for bikes and found it quite dangerous to use. Too much distraction, especially with all the holes and cars on the road to watch. And you need voice alerts/navigation anyway. Your map is placed in the dead visual angle for the biker. Curriers place their paper maps on the tank (same position as yours) but for different reasons – paper maps are large and unfortunately can’t be placed anywhere else. Wrong position is the first obstacle and full face helmet is the second obstacle. I used also Garmin (attached to my hand) and it was disctractive as well.

    Have a think. Cheers, Peter

  • gabriel says:

    UAHEuHAEuHAEuh worst design decision ever based on requirements.

    “lack of cheap and efficient GPS”…

    cheap… eink and solar cells… riiight.

    efficient… no high antena and solar cells that can only work when you invalidate the entire appliance… riiight.

  • Coralyn says:

    Wow I must confess you make some very trenchant pinots.

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