Let Your Wrists Be Your Guide


When you are out exploring new territory, there is nothing more annoying than having to stop at every trail intersection to try and figure out which way to go. Now you don’t have to. French company onTracks lets you navigate the outdoors without ever having to look at your phone, a map, or your bike computer. Instead, two wristbands connected to an app on your phone tell you which way to turn every step of the way.

The onTracks system includes two wristbands with small screens that are worn every time you venture out into unknown territory. The wristbands connect to your phone via Bluetooth, where the accompanying app lets you choose your route for the day.

When you starting running, hiking, or riding, the wristbands will vibrate when a turn is coming up and they will vibrate on the side indicating the direction in which you are supposed to turn. The small, round LCD screen will also display which way you are supposed to turn and in how many meters/feet. The screen also shows you how far you have until you reach your destination or the end of the route.

onTracks created an online community where you can find routes to follow and upload your own. If you want to follow a route you found somewhere else, the site accepts gpx, kml, kmz, or tcx files. Within your profile, you can track your basic workout stats over time. No word yet on Strava or sensor connectivity — my guess is that you will use the app mainly for navigation and take your bike computer or GPS watch to track your actual workout data and connect to sensors.

The company is still in beta mode so no word yet on pricing and availability. I would love to test these out mountain bike riding in an unfamiliar location — I absolutely hate having to stop and pull a map out of my backpack all the time.

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