After reading a 2009 article that declared ‘the speed of human cognition dictates that 18mph is a comfortable speed at which to travel through and perceive the world’, Rhys Newman – a former VP of Advanced Design at Nokia and bicycle racer – decided to further explore the human relationship between bicycles and the many connected devices that now adorn them.
Along with fellow former Nokia employees Julian Bleecker and Michael Halbherr, the trio set out to create “a modern, advanced speedometer that makes a strong statement on the nature of product design, technology and innovation, as much as a statement on the essential character of cycling itself.”
After months of proof-of-concept hacks and prototyping, the result of their research is undeniably one of the best-looking bicycle GPS computers ever created: the OMATA One.
With an analog face carefully designed to make data easy to read at high speeds, the GPS computer displays the most common metrics used by today’s road cyclists: speed, distance, ascent and time. While the handlebar-mounted computer is certainly an attractive piece of kit, the decision to wrap an analog package around a modern cycling computer goes beyond aesthetics; without a power-hungry display, the battery can last up to 24 hours – at least, according to the company’s benchmark testing.
“On the inside, OMATA One tracks everything with the same high level of precision as the best cycling computers, which means all your ride data can be exported via USB-C to Strava, or the application of your choice,” says the company. “All your data is recorded on the internal memory and converted into analog movement by our custom mechanical sub-assembly developed with Seiko Precision Inc.”
At $499, the OMATA One isn’t the most expensive cycling computer on the market, but it’s also not the cheapest, either. If you’re a serious rider and want the power of today’s cycling technologies without a bright display blasting at you for 2-3 hours, it’s certainly worth a look.