Maybe if theft hadn't plagued the rough & tumble town I grew up in, I would have learned to ride a bike when I was little. Genetic blessings of coordination and proprioception could have contributed to my cause too. Kids today, though, they get it all. Carbon fiber bikes, self-stabilizing training wheels, video games that simulate their experience on the road, and now, the BikeSpike. A bicycle/motorcycle anti-theft, tracking, and stat-gathering device powered by the world's smallest GPS chipset.
With its built-in antenna, on-board accelerometer, and global cellular network connection, the BikeSpike can report everything from distance and speed traveled to incidences of two-wheeled tampering to collisions, sending the information to your smartphone via its iOS or android app. Specific uses include:
- Monitor your bike's location on a map using your phone or computer.
- Digitally "lock" your bike and receive a notification if it moves from its geo-fenced location, or if someone puts their grubby hands on it.
- If the bike is stolen, grant temporary BikeSpike app access to law enforcement to increase the chances of recovery.
- Use the app's collision detection system to alert key members of your contact list if you have an accident, as well as share its location.
- Share your stats (distance, speed, courses) on Facebook with friends, coaches and spectators. [Note: Please don't do this. I promise you, no one cares. And even if they write some perfunctory congratulatory or encouraging comment, it is only so that you will do the same the next time they post a photo of the half marathon they ran (walked) or the child they popped out of their insides.]
- Monitor your children and get notified if they ride out of their safe zone. [Now that's what I'm talkin' about! Little punk triplets of my sister's telling me they're riding to church and 5 hours later I get a call from the po telling me to come get them at the Adult Film Star convention.]
- Develop gaming and fitness apps with the BikeSpike's open API.
- Buy the device's Hacker Pack and connect the BikeSpike to a motorcycle or other on-board batteries for a continual charge.
Up for grabs through Kickstarter until April 9, 2013, the Chicago-based BikeSpike team plans to begin shipment in October. They'll need some help, though. With only 2 weeks left in the campaign at printing, they are still well shy of their $150,000 funding goal.
November 2013 Update: The BikeSpike met its crowdfunding goal and is now available for direct purchase through the company's website--follow the link below.