Patent application reveals Apple-designed "smart bike"

Posted:
in iPod + iTunes + AppleTV edited January 2014
The US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application Thursday for a "Smart Bicycle System" that would use an iPod or iPhone to monitor sensor data and wirelessly share information.



The patent application, discovered by Patently Apple, contains functionality similar to the Nike + iPod Sport Kit integration for runners. Using external and internal sensors, an iPhone or iPod would store and relay useful information while attached to a bicycle.



Although similar products (bicycle computers) already exist, the Cupertino, Calif., company's solution would take advantage of sensors already built into its devices, such as gyroscopes and accelerometers. Using an iPod or iPhone could potentially reduce costs, setup, and the need for complex attachments. Another added benefit would be the possibility of sharing recorded information with other cyclists.



Some examples of useful measurements are "acceleration, speed, distance, time or intervals of time between events, altitude or elevation of the bicycle, incline/decline during the ride, wind speed, location."







In the application, Apple focused specifically on the potential for wireless communication between devices and bicycles. The patent specifically lists "GPRS, CDMA, EV-DO, EDGE, 3GSM, DECT, IS-136/TDMA, iDen, LTE" as possible methods for sharing data.



External displays are also included in the patent application. In addition to listing several standard display technologies such as LCD and LED, the application lists a number of movable displays or projecting systems, such as "a video projector, head-up display, or three-dimensional (e.g., holographic) display."



Other highlighted features include mapping, automated video and audio recording, course reviews, and team data sharing. The patent application lists buttons on the bicycle or "the user's apparel (e.g., clothing or helmet)" and voice activation as potential input methods.



According to the article, Apple's innovations for cycling enthusiasts could theoretically be applied to other types of vehicles and other modes of transportation.



Jesse Dorogusker, Anthony Fadell, Andrew Hodge, Allen Haughay, Jr., Scott Krueger, James Mason, Donald Novotney, Emily Schubert Policarpo Wood and Timothy Johnston are listed as the inventors. The patent application was filed in Q1 2009.



Anthony Fadell, often referred to as "the grandfather of the iPod," served as senior vice president of Apple's iPod division before stepping down in 2008. Fadell reportedly severed all remaining ties with Apple in March of this year.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 27
    Will the iBike be black only or will it be available in white too? (The drawings seem to indicate white as a possibility.) I'm sure they would start with the black and then add white later but it would be nice to know if it will have the option.



    Also will it have chrome trim? I really prefer the matte trim so that it is not so reflective (and would be willing to pay more if they have an option for the matte).
  • Reply 2 of 27
    It's the equivalent of a bicycle... for our legs!
  • Reply 3 of 27
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    Interesting...
  • Reply 4 of 27
    eightzeroeightzero Posts: 2,648member
    Lots of prior art out there on this one. Look at the Garmin EDGE series of bike computers. All share data. There is even a bit of dongleware out there:



    http://www.newpotatotech.com/LiveRider/liverider.html



    http://digifit.me/



    The Cuppertino folks will have lots of questions from the examiners on this one.
  • Reply 5 of 27
    walneywalney Posts: 70member
    .....
  • Reply 6 of 27
    philboogiephilboogie Posts: 7,671member
    The iPhone is not waterproof. My Garmin is rated as IPX7, meaning it can rain down on me while cycling and I'll still have a working device. But I would love to get a device from Apple since Garmin makes total crap devices, in my not very humble opinion of course. I use their ? 700 Oregon 550t (touch screen) with the City Navigator Europe which directed me last week onto the highway (?!) even in bicycle-mode. The screen is small, operates clumsy and the desktop software seems to be written by ex-Microsnot employees.



    There is a better alternative than Garmin, but the device is built into the bicycle:

    www.factor001.com

    It even records the left & right torque on the crank. Seperately.



    Hopefully Apple will release an IPX7 iPhone in the future so I don't have to deal with Garmin crap.



    Cheers,

    Philippe
  • Reply 7 of 27
    Strikes me that all this stuff is already being done by various other companies and is mostly old ideas that is fairly standard usage for professional riders nowadays. I don't see how they can patent it.



    Heads up display is new I agree (and possibly impossible to deploy due to harsh lighting) but the rest...
  • Reply 8 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


    The iPhone is not waterproof. My Garmin is rated as IPX7, meaning it can rain down on me while cycling and I'll still have a working device. But I would love to get a device from Apple since Garmin makes total crap devices, in my not very humble opinion of course. I use their ? 700 Oregon 550t (touch screen) with the City Navigator Europe which directed me last week onto the highway (?!) even in bicycle-mode. The screen is small, operates clumsy and the desktop software seems to be written by ex-Microsnot employees.



    There is a better alternative than Garmin, but the device is built into the bicycle:

    www.factor001.com

    It even records the left & right torque on the crank. Seperately.



    Hopefully Apple will release an IPX7 iPhone in the future so I don't have to deal with Garmin crap.



    Cheers,

    Philippe



    Clearly this concept isn't meant for off-road biking. There's no way I'd strap an iPhone to any of my bikes. It's a disaster waiting to happen. I ride in NYC where instant death and injury lurk everywhere. It might be a good way to thin out the herd a bit.



    While I like the idea of a bike computer, I really don't want one staring me in the face at all times. i spend too much time looking at Macs and iOS devices as it is, so time away from such contraptions is always good.



    The Garmin things are pretty wretched looking, but they seem to be the only Mac compatible bike computers. I installed their ANT software just to take a look and it screwed up my Dock, if I remember correctly. I've been thinking about getting their wrist computer, the 405cx, which has an optional bike kit.



    Shimano introduced an integrated computer system for their XTR mountain bike gruppo a few years back. I have no idea how good it is.
  • Reply 9 of 27
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by igamogam View Post


    Strikes me that all this stuff is already being done by various other companies and is mostly old ideas that is fairly standard usage for professional riders nowadays. I don't see how they can patent it.



    Heads up display is new I agree (and possibly impossible to deploy due to harsh lighting) but the rest...



    Mac compatibility is the biggest issue. Most seem to have Windows only interfaces and desktop software.
  • Reply 10 of 27
    postulantpostulant Posts: 1,272member
    Let's see here, we have automated audio and video recording, an iPod, a gyroscope, accelerometer, course reviews, maps, measurement data, wireless syncing, shared data between riders, a compass, projecting systems, phone, voice activation input through your helmet?



    I must be more of a geek than I thought cause this sounds cool to me. Where do I sign up?





    Quote:

    "... all this stuff is being done by various other companies"



    Exactly! Now I only need ONE device.
  • Reply 11 of 27
    sendmesendme Posts: 567member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie View Post


    The iPhone is not waterproof.

    Philippe





    The iPhone is not designed to be waterproof. Simply use one of the many available waterproof cases.
  • Reply 12 of 27
    ajitmdajitmd Posts: 365member
    What I would like to see is Apple integrate the iPad on the dashboard of cars including the GPS function, music, movies, etc. The current systems offered by the auto companies are terrible... have to read a big thick manual and it is still confusing, Most US cars, Toyota, Mercedes. BMW is the worst with the iDrive.
  • Reply 13 of 27
    ktappektappe Posts: 808member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    What I would like to see is Apple integrate the iPad on the dashboard of cars including the GPS function, music, movies, etc. The current systems offered by the auto companies are terrible... have to read a big thick manual and it is still confusing, Most US cars, Toyota, Mercedes. BMW is the worst with the iDrive.



    But Apple is a California company, and as such they only support running and biking to save the environment.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post


    Clearly this concept isn't meant for off-road biking.



    We road bikers need waterproof too--despite our best intentions, sometimes mother nature doesn't cooperate and we get stuck in a downpour. \
  • Reply 14 of 27
    irelandireland Posts: 17,771member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by SendMe View Post


    The iPhone is not designed to be waterproof. Simply use one of the many available waterproof cases.



    That comment looks like it was written by Steve Jobs. And btw, there are not "many" waterproof iPhone cases.
  • Reply 15 of 27
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,941member
    I'm not sure why the negativity is popping up here. Most of the people I ride with have wished for an iPod/iPhone solution for biking. Since they have been so successful with the Nike+ system for running, it only seems logical that something for bikers was on the way.



    Since we are talking wireless here, in an unsuspected downpour you could just pocket the device if no waterproof case was on hand.



    I would love to have tons of data on my biking to analyze, and I have the expectation that I would enjoy Apple's solution more than other companies' attempts!
  • Reply 16 of 27
    aaarrrggghaaarrrgggh Posts: 1,608member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PhilBoogie;1691287



    There is a better alternative than Garmin, but the device is built into the bicycle:

    [url



    www.factor001.com[/url]

    It even records the left & right torque on the crank. Seperately.



    Cheers,

    Philippe



    That is a pretty cool feature; I would love to get separate torque data for each leg. Do you know if they do it with strain gauges or if it is just calculated somehow?
  • Reply 17 of 27
    mr omr o Posts: 1,046member
    okay, this one has already been done by Nokia ? but why not just having a simple dock system on your bike that charges your iPhone while you push those pedals?
  • Reply 18 of 27
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,602member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AjitMD View Post


    What I would like to see is Apple integrate the iPad on the dashboard of cars including the GPS function, music, movies, etc. The current systems offered by the auto companies are terrible... have to read a big thick manual and it is still confusing, Most US cars, Toyota, Mercedes. BMW is the worst with the iDrive.



    Movies???!!!!!

    You want to watch movies while you're driving? I surely hope not. We have enough accidents just from people trying to type texts while they're driving. And I suspect (although I can't prove) that there are plenty of accidents caused by people paying too much attention to their GPS, although most car GPS systems will talk to you.
  • Reply 19 of 27
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 1,941member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jeffharris View Post


    Clearly this concept isn't meant for off-road biking. There's no way I'd strap an iPhone to any of my bikes. It's a disaster waiting to happen. I ride in NYC where instant death and injury lurk everywhere. It might be a good way to thin out the herd a bit.



    If I was to use it mountain biking, I wouldn't think of strapping it to my bike either. But that doesn't mean it would not be useful. You would still be able to track speed, acceleration maybe even altitude.

    When I mountain bike I wouldn't need constant GPS/road info. Same probably goes fit city biking. A lot of riders probably know their way around and might check maps less often. Still it might be nice to have a route tracker and such...
  • Reply 20 of 27
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Why is the back wheel missing ‘a’ spoke?
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