Social Bikes Use Smartphones to Track Their Whereabouts

While bicycles aren’t usually the first thing you think about when you are talking consumer technology there have been some advances that are actually pretty impressive.

Of course, there are also some bikes that aren’t really bikes at all, like the Australian Hoverbike that looks more like the speeders the empire used in the jungles of Endor on Return of the Jedi.  There are also some advances to bicycles that aren’t quite here yet but might be on the way sooner rather than later like the PXP Bike that will have its gear shifting controlled by thought rather than switches.

Now a new program, as well as new technology is trying to help people ride bikes, even if they may not own one themselves.  Using the Social Bikes program, anyone who wishes to take part in the program will be able to download an app on their Smartphone that will tell them where the nearest Social Bike pickup station is.  Once they have an account with the program, they will be able to enter their account login and password on a special electronic lock at the pickup station and unlock the bikes.  Once they have the bike, they can ride around to their hearts content, with subtle charges per day or per hour expected, just as a way to keep the program fully funded.

Of course the really neat part of this is that using the app that will allow you to find the bikes in the first place, you can also log everywhere you have traveled on these particular bikes using the GPS transmitter in your phone.  This way people will be able to tell just how much travel is being used on the bikes, and will therefore be able to tell where more pickup stations should be placed as well as just the most popular places to go on the bike.   At the moment, the program is being started by Ryan Rzepecki and because of his location the Social Bikes network is based in New York.  Still the urban planner says he wants the program to catch on in other cities as well.  Check out the video to see how it works.