Yes, you read that headline right. Apple has applied for a patent for a bicycle concept.
The patent application, which was published by the US Patent & Trademark Office on August 5, highlights Apple's concept for what they are calling a 'Smart Bike'. The bike patent application, which Patently Apple likens to a Nike + for cyclists, details a system which would allow bike riders to log and wirelessly share information about cycling routes.
Apple's Smart Bike patent, which was originally filed for during the first quarter of 2009, would log a whole host of cycling information, with a heavy emphasis on sharing data. This information would include cycling speed, distance travelled, time, altitude, incline, decline and more. A users heart rate would also be collected.
According to the patent, this range of information would be collected via a connected iPod or iPhone and built in sensors. What the integrated technology to measure these cycling metrics would be is any ones guess. But accurate heart rate sensors in the handlebars, accelerometers and on-board GPS would all seem to be fairly safe bets.
However as any dedicated cyclist will know, this sort of information has been available for years - thanks to attachable mini computers. These mini cycle-friendly computers are available in a range of prices, starting from simple US$10 to $20 models with more technologically able kit, including an iPhone app, pushing the $200 price point.
So what would make Apple's approach so different from what's already readily available? It's hard to tell from a patent application, no matter how detailed, but no doubt the seamless integration from device to device, and then to the end logging software would make the whole experience that little bit different.
It would be a departure from the norm, that's for sure - but then again it is just a patent. So with a pinch of salt, what are your thoughts on a could-be Apple bike?
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