Smart Bikes are becoming more and more of the norm but their high price tag is still a major barrier to entry for the general population. Sure, a bike like Vanhawks Valour is great, but does every bike owner really want to trade in their current tried and true make and models for a complete “smart bike” built by a startup? Probably not, which is why an upcoming device like COBI by iCradle is a breath of fresh air. COBI isn’t a smart bike itself and iCradle isn’t trying to sell a full bike on Kickstarter. Instead, it is a bundle of bike accessories, that use your own smartphone as the brains of the operation.
The setup is actually a smartphone dock, a combination of a smart hub and a smartphone mount, for your bike. Of course, there are probably dozens, if not hundreds, of smartphone bike mounts, but what makes COBI special is everything else that revolves around it.
Take for example the Thumb Controller a 5-button LED backlit “D-pad” that can sit on any handle bar 25 to 32 mm in diameter to let you control your smartphone without having to take your hands off the bike handles. No more risky swiping and tapping just to get to the functionality you need. There are also lights available, a signature light in front with different styling options available, and an auto brake light at the back. Tying them all together is the COBI app that is designed to give you the info you need without requiring you to swipe your way through menus and screens.
When working together, the whole COBI Bike System delivers more than 10 smart features you’d usually find in cars or wearable devices. Of course, navigation is a no-brainer and COBI uses the free editable OpenStreetMap (OSM) database plus Telenav’s Scout SDK for that purpose. Road safety is delivered by the Thumb Controller and smart lights. COBI integrates with fitness apps and platforms like Apple’s iHealth and Google Fit to making biking both fun and healthy at the same time.