NAVISOR: Navigation For Bike Riders Made Easy?

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When riding a two-wheeler, what if the directions to your destination appeared on your helmet rather than on your mobile phone? 

‘Navisor’ is a device that claims to get rid of the risk and inconvenience associated with using a mobile phone for navigation by drivers of two wheelers. The device gets fixed in your helmet, connects to your mobile phone, and  guides you throughout your journey by flashing directions on your visor. Essentially, they flash LED illuminations on your visor, in real time.

PupilMesh, the start-up that has developed Navisorhope to have solved many problems for riders of two wheelers. Navigation for bikers relying on just audio navigation cues from a regular mobile app can be a pain. In addition, road safety rules in states like Karnataka prohibit the use of earphones and audio devices in any form while riding. Despite the existence of phone mounts that make it possible for riders to fix their smartphones onto holders on their bikes and then refer to them for directions, navigating remains a challenge as bikers have to take their eyes off the road to glance at their displays. 

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 Milind Manoj, the CEO of PupilMesh, asserts that the NAVisor solves every one of these challenges – not only making navigation simpler but also far safer and more convenient. Together with Riya PB and Pradeep P, Milind forms part of the core team of innovators that conceived and designed the NAVisor. 

The NAVisor module has to be fastened to a helmet. The adhesive clamps that come along with the device help in securing it on the helmet firmly. Once the user has established a Bluetooth connection between their smartphone and NAVisor, all they have to do is to key in their destination and get riding. Throughout the ride, the device offers riders visual cues via its soft-LED indicators, keeping them informed of every upcoming turn. Apart from the non-intrusive visual cues that the device offers, the NAVisor also boasts features such as auto-brightness, a 120 Kph working speed, field-of-view navigation and crash detection. The NAVisor app works on the MapmyIndia digital mapping platform for navigation. 

Manoj says the design turned out to be a greatest challenge and they had to ensure that the navigation cues provided by NAVisor were not distracting and also were visible in high sunlight conditions. 

“Right from the get-go, the PupilMesh team set out to ensure that the LED light indicators weren’t distracting the rider and remained a non-intrusive part of their peripheral vision. After going through multiple design iterations and stringent testing concepts with bikers, the team settled on the current design,” says Milind. 

“With various design iterations, NAVisor was made such that it does not distract the rider and also provides navigation safely and reliably under all lighting conditions.”

Creating product awareness was a tough biz challenge, he added.  “Our customers always had a misconception about the product taking it for granted that it was unsafe and distracting. NAVisor was designed with a careful study of the navigation challenges on a bike and considering feedback of bikers across India. To address this, we shipped out multiple free trial units to many prominent biker groups.”

As part of these awareness campaigns, the team had finalised the design, manufactured 100 units of the NAVisor, and had them shipped to testing facilities across the nation. Having obtained seed capital from IIM Bangalore and IIT Bombay, the PupilMesh team is now in talks with investors as part of their series A funding efforts. 

When asked about what they have planned for NAVisor going forward, Milind says the team is working on several other solutions that can augment the on-road experience for bikers. From an intercom device and an integrated smart helmet with an action camera to smart glasses for bikers, are in the pipeline. NAVisor will be available at Rs.3500 for pre-order  from first quarter of January 2022.

 

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