Apple has filed a patent (number 8364389) for systems and methods for integrating a portable electronic device such as an iPod or iPhone with a bicycle.
Per the patent, the electronic device can receive the output from sensors coupled to the bicycle and generate riding characteristics for display to the user. The electronic device can in addition receive communications from other electronic devices and provide the communications to the user.
In some embodiments, the electronic device can be paired with the devices of one or more other cyclists so that the cyclists can share riding characteristics and other information. This can allow the cyclists to ride as a team and better assist each other.
Here’s Apple’s summary of the invention: “Many bicyclists desire accessing different information as they ride, such as speed, position, heart rate, power or other information related to components of the bicycle. To provide such information to the cyclist during the ride, a bicycle computer can be coupled to the bicycle, for example on handlebars. The bicycle computer can be connected, using wires or wirelessly, to one or more sensors embedded within the bicycle or in bicycle components.
“The bicycle computer can receive sensor information and display metrics related to the sensor information on a display for the user. The displayed information can be updated at any suitable interval, for example determined based on power considerations, sensor refresh rates, user requests for particular information, or any other suitable interval.
“Bicycle computers, however, are typically expensive components that would not be purchased by casual or semi-serious bicyclists. Many bicycle computers require extensive set-up to connect the bicycle computer to various sensors embedded on the bicycle, for example by requiring a complex wireless pairing procedure or by connecting several wires to the computer. In addition, many bicycle computers only provide information for the bicycle with which the computer is coupled.
“The bicycle computer can not share information related to the bicycle with which it is coupled with other computers, or can alternatively only provide information related to a ride once the ride is completed and the computer is connected to a host device (e.g., a desktop or laptop computer) that sends the information to a remote server for processing and display.”
The inventors are Jesse L. Dorogusker, Anthony Fadell, Andrew Hodge, Allen P. Haughay Jr., Scott Krueger, James Eric Mason, Donald J. Novotney, Emily Clark Schubert, Policarpo Wood and Timothy Johnson.