Smart Bike Vs Smart e-Bike?
By EV World Editorial Staff
Some three years ago, Apple filed a patent with the United States Patent and Trademark Office for what it calls a 'smart bike' application of its iPhone technology. Today the PTO granted Apple its patent. Now what will they do with it?
When Apple filed is 'smart bike' patent application in early 2009, they were looking for ways to leverage the technology inside the iphone into, among many areas, the world of cycling. With the iPhone's built-in gyroscope and accelerometer, Apple software could convey a host of information to the individual rider or to teams of riders.
According to PatentlyApple.com, the web site that tracks Apple patents, the system "will be able to monitor speed, distance, time, altitude, elevation, incline, decline, heart rate, power, derailleur setting, cadence, wind speed, path completed, expected future path, heart rate, power, and pace." Besides conveying this information on the phone's display, the patent also includes provisions for projecting it through, among other ways, a head-up display and even three-dimensionally in holograms. Groups of riders can also share information.
Since filing the patent, several cycling apps have appears, including one developed by the University of California San Diego that sniffs the air around the rider, which led to the finding that riding along a busy thoroughfare exposes the rider to more air pollution than riding in a car along the same route.
But the other development is the emergence of Smart's E-bike, pictured above, which was announced not long after -- if we correctly recall -- Apple filed its patent. Since Apple's 'smart bike' isn't really a bicycle and Smart's E-bike clearly isn't a telephone, there's little chance of trademark or copyright infringement suits. In fact, there's a good chance that we could see the two collaborating at some point.
Originally published: 29 Jan 2013
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