Startup: an app to GPS-track your bike!

Wed 20 March 2013 10:00, Tamara Yadvichuk

Now here’s something for people in the Netherlands. If you live in this country, you must own a bike. If you own a bike you probably have had it stolen more than once, and looked for it countless times not remembering the exact spot where you left it. Now imagine how cool it would be to have an app which tracks your bike and makes sure it’s safe!

Startup: an app to GPS-track your bike!

Yet another startup wants to make life a little better. The BikeSpike is a gadget that uses GPS and motion detection to track your bike’s location and let you know if it has been tampered with via the dedicated app. The project is now on Kickstarter striving to get at least $150,000 to finance the production.

So here’s what you can do with The BikeSpike:

  • Monitor your bike's location and receive a notification if it is moved
  • Quickly notify the police if someone is trying to steal your bike
  • Alert selected contacts and share your location in case of an accident
  • Share your biking stats and achievements
  • Parental control: get a notification if your child’s bike leaves a specified safe zone

Reaching the $150K target will allow The BikeSpike to launch in US, and if they manage to get $300,000 the developers promise to make the gadget work in 27 European countries.

1903-bikespike2

The BikeSpike app will come with an open API so that developers can adjust the technology to work for purposes other than bike tracking (you can imagine that there are lots of possibilities here).  The device itself is a small thingy that attaches to the frame of the bike, possibly hidden in a special bottle holder, and, according to the producers, is fairly hard to remove without triggering the alarm.

On the downside, the GPS service which makes the location tracking possible will require a monthly subscription payment – the team’s promo video on Kickstarter mentions monthly subscriptions for $7 and $13. For me personally, the need to commit to a monthly subscription makes any gadget considerably less attractive.

1903-BikeSpike3

Let’s imagine that The BikeSpike reaches the Netherlands, and it can offer the Dutch bikers a month of service for about €5. If your bike gets stolen on average once a year (about the rate at which this unfortunate event happens to me), it would make sense to pay the subscription fee if your bike costs at least €60 (which is a normal price for a second hand bike). And if you have something fancier than an old ‘omafiets’, extra theft protection will be handy for sure.

What do you think about this project? Would you be ready to pay a small fee for additional safety of your bicycle, or do you prefer the formula:

I buy a cheap bike >> it gets stolen >> I buy another cheap bike >> and so on…? :) 


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