Apple Researching Methods to Turn iPhone Into Feature-Rich Bike Computer

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Apr 12, 2001
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Patently Apple reports on an Apple patent application published today that describes Apple's vision for using the iPhone, iPod, or other electronic device as an interface for a multi-feature bicycle computer. While current bike computers are typically limited primarily to such data as speed, distance, and cadence with the possibility for integration of other devices such as heart rate monitors, Apple's plans reveal a much broader scope to incorporate such features as GPS routing, communications between multiple riders within a group, weather recording, and gear settings.
The premise is rather like Apple's Nike + iPod system for runners except for cyclists. While the system is for individuals, it's also designed to work with teams of cyclists so that they could communicate with each other on-the-fly about course difficulty or perceived problems. The Bicycle system monitors 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. The system could utilize various sensors built-into the iPhone in addition to working with sensors already built-into the bike itself. Apple's patent is extraordinarily detailed and packed with interesting twists that the sporting cyclist will really appreciate.
Communications systems built into the package could allow potential riders to share their riding characteristics others to assist in forming riding groups while also allowing those on a team to view data on other riders. Riders could also communicate with each other via various methods, as well as with outside parties.

Riders can also offer ratings and feedback on potential routes to other riders, with data on their riding characteristics offering a basis for assessing riders' perspective when making ratings and recommendations.

Mapping capabilities could offer riders a wide variety of perspectives and data, including topographic information and landmarks. Turn-by-turn directions could also be transmitted to assist riders with following a pre-determined route.

As always, Apple's patent applications are not necessarily reflective of products it intends to bring to the market, but they do provide some insight into projects the company is thinking about and how they might relate to future device plans.


Article Link: Apple Researching Methods to Turn iPhone Into Feature-Rich Bike Computer
 

millertime021

macrumors 6502a
Jan 28, 2010
640
0
AZ
Awesome

I use Nike+ so this would be a great addition as well. Hopefully I don't have to buy a special type of bike though.
 

HiRez

macrumors 603
Jan 6, 2004
5,825
1,735
Western US
This will probably never see the light of day, but it looks very cool. I've been waiting for the day when Apple started applying their interface design to non-computer consumer products. The danger is they turn into Sony or Panasonic and spread themselves too thin, but imagine what they could do with a car system (navigation, audio controls, local weather and road conditions, etc.), television interface, exercise machines at the gym, heck, even coffee makers and alarm clocks.
 

PerfSeeker

macrumors 6502a
Jul 10, 2010
545
0
Doesn't this take the focus away from riding? There are cases when you don't want to be inundated with technology. Really how have bikers been managing up to now? I guess they're suffering with the iBike.
 

appleguy123

macrumors 604
Apr 1, 2009
6,557
636
15 minutes in the future
This will probably never see the light of day, but it looks very cool. I've been waiting for the day when Apple started applying their interface design to non-computer consumer products. The danger is they turn into Sony or Panasonic and spread themselves too thin, but imagine what they could do with a car system (navigation, audio controls, local weather and road conditions, etc.), television interface, exercise machines at the gym, heck, even coffee makers and alarm clocks.
I would buy the car interface and the alarm clock.
 

spazzcat

macrumors 68030
Jun 29, 2007
2,636
1,414
This will probably never see the light of day, but it looks very cool. I've been waiting for the day when Apple started applying their interface design to non-computer consumer products. The danger is they turn into Sony or Panasonic and spread themselves too thin, but imagine what they could do with a car system (navigation, audio controls, local weather and road conditions, etc.), television interface, heck, even coffee makers and alarm clocks.
This would be just an app with some blutooth hardware add-ons for heart rate and cadence.
 

HiVolt

macrumors 6502a
Sep 29, 2008
600
2,163
Toronto, Canada
This may work, if there is a product that can supply power to the iPhone with GPS running all the time. As everyone knows, it CHEWS thru battery.

Perhaps some sort of hub dynamo. I think products like that exist today though.
 

sjo

macrumors 6502a
Aug 30, 2005
510
0
Isn't most of that functionality already implemented in programs such as Sportstracker? The US patent system is really incredibly stupid letting obvious and already implemented "innovations" to be patented.
 

Consultant

macrumors G5
Jun 27, 2007
13,291
14
How about making a waterproof handle bar case that connects to the existing electronics on the bicycle? I remember only seeing like 2 connectors for mine.
 

ZGXtreme

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2008
188
24
To think, it could have been "Team :apple: Apple" instead of Team Radioshack... creating the perfect testing group. Then during Le Tour, Versus could have given away Apple products during their little contest! Win-Win for all!
 

Tyre

macrumors regular
May 23, 2010
143
0
Baltimore, MD
Wow that looks pretty cool, although I' much rather see a car with that sort of thing (i.e. pulling up my iPhone homescreen on the nav screen to run apps etc.) first.
 

ZGXtreme

macrumors regular
Sep 19, 2008
188
24
Wow that looks pretty cool, although I' much rather see a car with that sort of thing (i.e. pulling up my iPhone homescreen on the nav screen to run apps etc.) first.
As would I. Was thinking the other day how sweet it would be for an iOS package to be released for use in the car. Perhaps with a partnership with a company like Eclipse. Navigation, Diagnostics via the Data Port and additional Apps like GasBag, etc. This of course in combination with the iPod and Movies. Could Sync wirelessly when you arrive home.
 

timirving

macrumors member
Aug 26, 2007
37
0
Doesn't this take the focus away from riding? There are cases when you don't want to be inundated with technology. Really how have bikers been managing up to now? I guess they're suffering with the iBike.
Watch the Tour De France, all the cyclists are "plugged in". It would be nice to communicate with other riders in your group without stopping and searching trails for them. In addition, it's really hard to progress past a certain point when you don't know your current limits.
 

JonB3Z

macrumors 6502
Jun 23, 2009
259
0
Interesting. One of the reasons I got the iPhone in the first place was to have it take the place of multiple devices on multi-day bike trips. I used to carry a phone, iPod, camera, mapping GPS unit and laptop. Now I just have the iPhone. Oh, and I don't need to carry a book along to read anymore, either.

I don't particularly need heart-rate and cadence inferfaces because I'm not riding crits or tris or anything, but I can see how the integration of those elements could result in a slick package.