Sure, you can use GPS to track a number of metrics while you ride, but you can also use it to track a bicycle when you’re not on it. That’s the idea behind the BikeSpike, a GPS tracking device that could even provide automatic crash reporting.
The gizmo, which can be paired with an Android or iOS smartphone to allow real time monitoring of a bicycle, is currently being developed by Clay Neigher and Bill Fienup through a Kickstarter project.
“It has been really hard getting the word out to serious cyclists and racers for some reason,” Neigher told BikeRadar. “We’re really proud of the product we’ve developed and we need help getting it to production.”
The device features what the developer’s claim to be one of the world’s smallest GPS chipsets, a built-in antenna and an on-board accelerometer, along with a connection to a global cellular network. The idea here is that users could pinpoint the exact location of the bike via a web connection or smartphone. This could allow a bike to be digitally “locked” where the user could get a notification if the bike has been moved, fallen or otherwise disturbed.
The creators believe that the BikeSpike could be integrated into a custom waterbottle cage, thus hiding the fact that a bike even has the tracker installed. This could provide police or other law enforcement with a tool to help recover a stolen bicycle.
The designers further contend that that it could be used for parents to track younger riders, for managing a rental fleet of bicycles and even for community sharing programs. The developers see a potential in using this as an emergency notification tool.
The unit features the on-board accelerometer which could be used to detect an accident whereby the BikeSpike could transmits a rider’s location to a pre-selected contact list.
“The collision detection system can alert key members of your contact list and share the location of an accident,” said Neighber.
Moreover, the BikeSpike could be used the way many cyclists use GPS — to collect and share ride data.
“The open API allows developers to create gaming and fitness apps that you can download and use with the device or use the data created from the BikeSpike to integrate with the existing apps you already love,” Neigher added.
Neigher is hopeful that the Kickstarter project will allow this to go from concept to reality.
“We’ve quickly learned that even a dollar contribution from any lover of the BikeSpike can make a difference if they share that pledge on their Facebook and Twitter account,” he said.