Almost 600 backers on the crowd-sourcing funding platform Kickstarter, have contributed more than $500,000 to help build the world’s first smart bicycle that promises to do almost everything except to cook your meals. However the developers have included a way to help satisfy your hunger.
The Valour as the smart bike is called, is developed the startup called Vanhawk, that consists of four members, headed by 20 year old Chief Operating Officer Ali Zahid, and Chief Manufacturing Officer Adil Aftab Iqbal. It includes sensors, GPS tracking, and Bluetooth connectivity. It even issues haptic feedback of vibrating handlebars that detects objects in your blind spot.
The guesswork is removed from navigation as the Bluetooth connection on the Valour issues turn- by- turn navigation in addition to the distance travelled and the calories burned. The Valour is connected to an app on your smartphone, which is powered with Google maps, but riders are not distracted as lights on the handle indicate turn directions.
The bike themselves are actually nodes on a network, where data from other riders is collected. You can be informed of traffic and road or weather conditions while riding, and it also helps to address the problem of bike as the location is easily detected with the GPS location ability. Zahid says it is as if the smart bikes were talking to each other, any bike with 6 kilometers of each other can be pinpointed.
The small startup hopes to make biking in the city, become much safer and one of the preferred methods of transportation as it is in other larger cities around the globe.
The goal for the four-man Toronto-based company was initially set at $100,000, but they have already surpassed the goal with the Kickstarter program that was launched at the beginning of May, and end at the end of the month. The level of interest was unexpected, and the company plans to ramp up production asap.
The Valour smart bike is made with a proprietary manufacturing process, which produces a unique unibody frame made of carbon. The bike weighs 16 lbs, and is internally reinforced. Although bicycle of the same range are priced at more than$1000, backers are getting and advantage as Zahid says the price though not yet finalized will be around $1000.
The company says orders are coming in from all over the world , and they have entered a rapid expansion mode, by hiring engineers, designers, and builders, and expects to begin shipping by October, 2014.