Biking 2.0 – The Copenhagen Wheel

The Copenhagen Wheel
Photo by Max Tomasinelli
The Copenhagen Wheel transforms ordinary bicycles into hybrid e-bikes that also function as mobile sensing units. It allows you to capture the kinetic energy released while riding and braking and then save that energy for when you need a boost. It also keeps you aware of pollution levels, traffic and road conditions in real time and tracks your route via GPS. All data is viewable and shareable through your iPhone.
It’s a wonderful concept but as the NY Times reports, it may face some adoption problems due to the absolute simplicity of traditional bikes. That’s at least part of the attraction with fixed gear and single gear bikes.

This is a period of change in the bicycle design world, said Jens Martin Skibsted, a Danish designer who owns the biking company Biomega and the design firm Kibisi. Mr. Skibsted believes that over the next few years several popular new designs will emerge to serve an increasingly urban population trying to wean itself off cars.
In such periods of change, he said, “the winner will seldom be the one that’s most functional, but rather the one that can become an inherent part of our culture.”

The project was conceived and developed by the SENSEable City Lab for the Kobenhavns Kommune. The prototype bikes were realized with the help of Ducati Energia and funding from the Ministry for the Environment.
The prototypes look beautiful.
The Copenhagen Wheel. Via The New York Times.