Apple Files Patent Application on a Bike Computer

Patently Apple reported that the US Patent and Trademark Office published a patent application called "Systems and Methods for Integrating a Portable Electronic Device with a Bicycle" that was received from Apple, Inc.  According to the article, "Apple's patent is about using a new iPod or iPhone system primarily on a bike so that they could share information with other cyclists riding in a group. It could also provide feedback to cyclists regarding their performance or the performance of other cyclists with whom they are riding."

Apple Smart Bicycle System Illustration
Images copied from Apple's patent application filed
on August 5, 2010. [ Source: Patently Apple ]

This is really interesting and I didn't expect Apple to have worked on any such device.  There are many iPhone apps that offer some of the features discussed in the patent application (such as iMapMyRide+, Fitnio, etc.) but no one has developed an iOS-based app that provides so much integration with bike and personal sensors as well as real-time communications capabilities.

In my opinion, this is not a device that would appeal to the pro peleton at this level of conceptual refinement.  For one thing, I think that the user interface described in the patent illustrations will be extremely difficult to operate while moving.  Implementing something that sophisticated would need a radically different input mechanism.

I want to say that voice recognition would be helpful, mainly because pro riders wear a radio headphone already. But I have no idea if Apple could implement something like that in any foreseeable iPhone hardware configuration.

Link to original patent application that is the basis for Patently Apple's article.