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Apple Announces Patent for Smart Bike

Apple Announces Patent for Smart Bike

[ August 9, 2010 - 2:41pm ]
apple smart bike main
A new bicycle computing system measures cadence, exertion, wind speed, and incline. Should we care?

This weekend, I rode the Copper Triangle- a grueling 78 miles over three mountain passes. With almost 6,000 feet of elevation gain, this quad-busting ride tours the scenic high country in Colorado. Throughout the ride, I wondered about my performance— was I climbing hard enough? Was I pushing it on the flats? What about my friend just ahead— how much power was he exerting? At home, I wanted to share my experiences- where the route is steepest, what aid station to eat most at, etc. I also felt I earned serious bragging rights. A standard trip computer wouldn’t have supplied this information or allowed me to share it. Enter: Apple. (Who else did you expect?)

Apple has submitted a patent to build a bike computing system compatible with their popular electronics. The system will allow you to track "speed, distance, time, altitude, elevation, incline, decline, heart rate, power, derailleur setting, cadence, [and] wind speed," according to Patently Apple. Accelerometers and gyroscopes will also measure the rider’s exertion and altitude gain (based on tilt relative to the hill). During a ride, cyclists can access the data via a removable touch-pad, or through hands-free voice commands by a microphone in a helmet or armband.

The patent addresses the social implications of such a system—one of the main features that distinguishes this technology from standard trip computers is the ability to communicate your information with other riders in the group or your team car. A coach or team captain will be able to view top sprinting speed or improvement on a particular skill from each of the riders in the group, thereby judging performance. Riders can share their maps and other metrics socially as well, and even provide reviews of their route. The system is quite similar to the successful Nike+ system, which allows runners to easily track and record their mileage.

Apple argues that recreational riders won’t take the time to install a complicated and expensive trip computer system. If the equipment is available on their iPod or iPhone, casual riders may be more apt to tap into that data (they will still have to install sensors on their bikes, similar to current systems). Yet most of the available metrics in the Apple system seem incredibly tech-y, and recreational riders may not see value in tracking power, for example. Whether the technology will seep into the mainstream market remains to be seen.

For more info on the patent, visit



So this looks an

So this looks an incorporation of several devices in one medium that attache to a bike. From distance tracking, heart beat monitor, GPS, acceleration and inclining/declining, this perhaps be a great innovation for every cyclist. Regards, Glenda of ipad cases designs department.
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