The bicycle could be Apple's new platform for showing off its iPod and iPhone technology. On Friday, the US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple that revealed an alleged project to build a "Smart Bicycle System" that could measure speed, distance, time, altitude, elevation, incline, decline, heart rate, temperature, weather, wind speed, and more.
According to the patent, the Smart Bike would use the iPhone's accelerometer and gyroscope (which record acceleration and altitude, respectively) to convey information to the individual cyclist. Built in Wi-Fi would allow--in what could be a landmark moment for the sport--communication between teams of riders in bike races.
Though the patent was just made public two days ago, it was filed last year, according to Patently Apple, a site that provides the incredibly-specific service of reporting solely on Apple patents.
Although there is already existing technology that allows serious cyclists to attach computers to their handlebars, the Smart Bike seems poised to make this technology more widely available.
Wired's Gadget Lab reports that it might be possible for cyclists to use voice commands to communicate with the technology--which, when you're traveling at 45plus MPH, might be a useful feature. A slightly less useful feature, we think, is the Smart Bike's ability to play video. Hey Apple, is that really a good idea?
There's also the question of whether the display would be built into the handlebars, or could be removable. We're also wondering what carrying this extra equipment on your bicycle means for aerodynamics, especially if you're a racer. And, lastly, how much will it cost?