Copenhagen – A new bicycle wheel can boost a rider’s power while also keeping track of friends, fitness levels, smog and traffic conditions. By using sensors and a Bluetooth connection to the user’s smartphone, which can be mounted on the handlebars, the Copenhagen Wheel harvests the energy generated while braking and cycling, and stores it for when a rider needs a bit of a boost. At the same time, sensors in the wheel collect information about air and noise pollution, congestion and road conditions so the user can plan a better route.
The device was developed by the SENSEable City Laboratory at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with the aim of getting 50% of the Danish capital’s citizens on their bike every day.
The Wheel is part of a more general trend towards inserting intelligence into our everyday objects, and creating a smart support infrastructure around ourselves for everyday life, says Assaf Biderman, associate director of the programme.
Performance-monitoring rides are increasingly popular among consumers, as we note in our report on intelligent bikes.