OFF INTO THE WILD WET YONDER How does this...
Baidu Steps It Up a Notch with the DuBike
As China’s “go to” search engine (read as: Google equivalent) and Web services company, one would imagine that Baidu already has its hands quite full. And yet the company has decided to expand into tech gadget development, most recently with the anouncement of its smartbike prototype, the DuBike.
With an emphasis on health monitoring and route planning, the bike will come with a bundle of sensors that connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone app. With this setup, riders can easily create workouts, plan routes with friends, and (of course) post and view these activities on their social media sites. Based on stated fitness goals and other settings, the app will even provide such feedback as route suggestions to help you maintain an efficient workout.
Jointly designed by Baidu and Tsinghua University’s design department, the bold look of the bike is definitely eye-catching. Yet despite its decidely “high tech” look, DuBike is not motorized. After all, what would be the point of all the health-monitoring gadgets if you’re just going to sit there lazily cruising along on an e-bike?
The bike is also said to include a “self-generation hub that converts kinetic into electrical energy,” thereby allowing for the charging and operation of all the tech gear onboard while you ride. In addition, there is a built-in GPS tracker, so in the event the bike is ever stolen, or even just “temporarily misplaced,” you can locate it.
It will be interesting to see how the DuBike compares, upon release, to similar smart bikes already in development in the United States. Even with all its enticements, most impressive would be its ability to successfully thwart thefts in a place like Beijing. Or New York. Or London.