Have you ever thought Apple had pushed the iPod as far as it can go? Think again.
On Aug. 11, 2010, the blog site “Patently Apple” released the details about an iBike that would revolutionize modern cycling. This first generation of “Smart Bicycles” will connect to an iPod or iPhone wirelessly in the same manner as the shoes in the Nike + iPod line. It appears this bicycle will be designed with avid cyclists in mind.
Not for the typical cyclist, the iBike will measure heart rate, speed and distance when linked to an iPod. It will also include Wi-Fi options, much like the Nintendo DS, that will allow for distance communication between riders during races. Most of this technology will be voice-activated, according to the patent application, to minimize the risk of injury when using these applications.
The iBike still possesses standard features- the speedometer, wheels, handlebars, brakes- that you’d see on the average bicycle.
There is a twist, however. What will make the iBike truly unique is its liquid metal frame. The Associated Press recently announced that Apple had signed a contract with Liquidmetal Technologies to use liquid metal for consumer electronics.
Liquidmetal Technologies is an offshoot of Caltech located in Rancho Santa Margarita, Calif. The company has recently created a metal that possesses an atomic structure more similar to glass than a true metal. Liquid metal, for example, doesn’t need to be polished or welded into shape.
However, unlike glass, it resists corrosion and is extremely durable. Its better; its prime ingredients are rare, expensive elements like platinum and beryllium. Platinum runs approximately $1,500 per ounce on the current market, while beryllium costs about $400 a pound. Considering the average adult bicycle weighs thirty pounds, the iBike, all Wi-Fi aside, could prove quite costly for Apple- and for you.
For all you avid cyclists, the iBike could become the future of bike racing. Let’s face it; we’re dealing with a bicycle on steroids. It combines standard bicycle features with a seemingly infinite number of iPhone applications. Just imagine the possibilities!
Andrew Blitman is a junior majoring in ecosystem science and biology. He may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.