A patent from Apple was published on August 5, that looks pretty exciting. It depicts the concept of a Smart Bicycle System that follows the basic idea of the Nike+iPod, but for cyclists.
The system is made for individuals, but also has features designed for teams. It would give bikers a way to communicate to each other on the go, about road hazards, or their progress in a race.
The system monitors a variety of things, including speed, distance, time, altitude, elevation, incline, decline, heart rate, power, dérailleur (gears that move the bike chain) setting, cadence, wind speed, path completed, expected future path, and pace.
Although bike computers already exist, Apple believes this is would be a better way to go because of sensors already existing in their devices, such as the accelerometer and gyroscope. Plus, if you already use you iPhone for music, this would save the extra cost of a stand-alone device.
The bicycle itself could include one or more sensors for determining the status of various bike components, or for monitoring the environment. So the bike would be able to tell you how fast you are going and what the weather is like, then be able to relay that information to your iPhone.
Its possible that the bike has a display beyond the iPhone’s screen. Apple’s patent provides us with numerous possibilities. The display may include a liquid crystal display (LCD) or light emitting diode (LED) screen; it also might well have an Organic light emitting diode (OLED) display.
Alternatively, the display could include a movable projecting system to display content on a surface that is not part of the bike. This means it could include a video projector, heads up display, or even a three dimensional display (hologram). It may be possible that the pyramid will be implemented sooner than we thought.
There is no word on music however. You would think this would have some awesome music features like being able to set a theme song for each gear level. I’m positive that “Eye of the Tiger” would default for when you’re going uphill.
The patent was filed in Q1 of 2009, which means this could be ready to be announced at WWDC 11, or could be one of those patents that never even get made.
As for the name, the patent says “Smart Bike” but I’m thinking they go with something more “Applesque ” like iCycle or something in that area. Apple products all seem to follow the little “i” followed by a big “P” so maybe it will be something like iPedal. The name iBike is already taken by another company however.
What do you think about this? Would you spring for the bike, or just settle for putting a computer on your existing bike. Do you have another name for it? Let me know in the comments below.