London-based folding bike manufacturer Brompton has revealed an internet-connected prototype of its bike, utilizing the power of the Internet of Things (IoT) to manage and provide information to the rider about the city of London.
Foldable bikes have become popular in London for their portability, allowing riders to take them into an office rather than leave them chained up outside. Brompton wants to make riding in the city even more safe and smart by taking information like the weather and traffic levels to change routes in real-time and warn of any issues on the roads.
Adding internet connectivity to a bike opens up the possibility of third-party apps, like Fitbit and Google Maps, which could more accurately save the amount of calories burned and show you detailed maps of the entire city.
Bike rides with more sensors besides eyes and ears
Brompton has added sensors capable of tracking pollution levels and air quality, which may be sent to London’s environmental commission and other third-party organizations. This could be a vital public service, as London continues to lower congestion in the city center and persuade more people to bike it to work.
As more internet-connected Brompton bikes hit the streets, we might even see the bikes connect to London’s traffic system, according to the Inquisitr, giving traffic monitors more information to find hotspots and reduce bicycle congestion in the city.
Despite the upsides to internet-connectivity on a bicycle, others find the situation worrisome, if hackers are able to intercept communications. What if hackers change routes for bikers or are able to track the route a rider takes to work everyday and stalk them. These are all real security questions that Brompton hasn’t been quick to address.
Brompton has been manufacturing its iconic bike for more than forty years, but that doesn’t mean it is sound when it comes to data security. Like any other internet-connected device, we’re going to have to see major investment in preventing hackers from intercepting communications.