The humble bicycle may be one of our oldest forms of transport but it is also one the greenest and most fulfilling ways to get from A to B. The relative simplicity of its structure has recently made it ripe for additional smart features and add-ons. We have already seen Merge from New York and COBI from Germany attempt to offer cyclists the “ultimate” bike. Now, smrtGRiPs is a three-in-one bike upgrade that can make any bike smarter, safer and easier to locate.
Users insert a pair of smrtGRiPs into their handlebars and connect them with their smartphone via bluetooth. Haptic and audible feedback guide cyclists through their journey safely without the need for screens or taking their eyes off the road. The handlebars vibrate to indicate left and right turns and separation alerts can inform cycling partners if someone has been left behind. The connected app can also be used to locate missing bikes in a busy bike rack by making the handlebars ring with the “ring your ride” feature, and if a bike is stolen the app notifies the crowdGPS network to be on the lookout. When another user goes within 100 meters of the missing bike, an instant notification is sent with its location.
SmrtGRiPs are developed by Boreal Bikes and are currently crowdfunding on Indiegogo. One pair of smrtGRiPs costs funders USD 59 and Boreal expect to fulfill all pledges in summer 2015. After that they are expected to retail for USD 119.
SmrtGRiPs use touch and sound to guide cyclists, enabling them to keep their eyes on the world around them. Are there other ways to use alternative senses to help consumers navigate more safely?