The reasons for commuters to get on a bike are many — expensive public transport, traffic congestion, health issues and environmental concerns. But there are also drawbacks that make people think twice, such as the number of available add-ons and extra equipment that can turn a hobby into a full time job. We’ve previously featured Merge designed by Pensa, which makes claims to being the ultimate city bike by coming packed with an array of useful accessories and cycling hacks as standard. Now Germany-based COBI has produced a single system that integrates 100 smart features into any bike without weighing it down with multiple gadgets.
Founder and CEO Andreas Gahlert says that riding with cluttered handlebars “wasn’t an integrated and connected experience: It wasn’t beautiful.” So the COBI team set out to “design a more elegant way to connect the workings of the bike.” Instead of forcing cyclists to invest in multiple different devices for their bike, COBI users simply install the single device on their handlebars to remotely connect their bike to their smartphone or mount their handset while cycling.
The kit acts as a customizable front light and turning indicator, portable smartphone charger, thumb-control system for handsets and also a smart hub, allowing cyclists to use their mounted smartphone as a navigation system, find others using the COBI system, and track their fitness and speed. Riders can also set up an array of smart features, such as proximity-based light activation, bike-specific weather alerts and smartphone-enabled bike locking with the ability to hand out access to friends.
Watch the video to learn more about the company:
Having concluded a successful Kickstarter campaign this month, COBI is set to begin shipping in the second quarter of this year. Gahlert hopes that once the system is in use, parts makers and app developers will piggyback the software to further integrate the cycling experience. Are there other connected devices that could be combined into one system to make it easier for consumers?