Apple patents the Smart Bicycle System (Update: it's not an iBike)

Imagine Apple's Nike + iPod system but for cyclists. Apple's patented a new type of bicycle computer that uses an iPod as the brains. Excellent idea!
Written by Jason D. O'Grady, Contributor on

On August 5, 2010, the US Patent & Trademark Office published a patent application from Apple for an advanced Smart Bicycle System under development -- imagine Apple's Nike + iPod system -- for cyclists. Although designed for individuals, iBike Apple's new bicycle system has the potential to work with teams of cyclists so that they could communicate with each other on-the-fly.

According to the patent filing, the Apple bicycle system monitors speed, distance, time, altitude, elevation, incline, decline, heart rate, power, derailleur setting, cadence, wind speed, path completed, expected future path, heart rate, power, and pace.

The system could utilize various sensors built-into the iPhone in addition to working with sensors already built-into the bike itself. Apple's patent is extraordinarily detailed and packed with interesting twists that the sporting cyclist will really appreciate.

Apple's new bicycling patent could have even broader appeal than Nike + iPod and would make an excellent replacement for the bicycle computer currently on my handlebars. Count me in.

Update: It's not going be called the iBike, that's a federally registered trademark (registration number 3096850) of Velocomp LLP, according to CEO John Hamann.

We are the manufacturers of the iBike power meter, which started shipping in 2006.

We totally agree with you that an iPhone-based bike computer and power meter is a great idea.  We started working on one about a year ago and have just started shipping the iBike Dash-an iPhone and iPod touch bike computer that does 99.9% of the cool things you described in your article (everything except the feature described in the Apple patent application).

Tip: Patently Apple, via @glendasilva

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