COBI is like an internet for your bike, with your smartphone as the dashboard. The ability to add over 100 "intelligent" features to any bike makes this connected bike system seem like the Swiss Army Knife of smart biking.
An innovative new cycling accessory is in the works, for both standard bikes and ebikes, which promises to "enhance your biking experience," by using the power of your smartphone to manage and connect to a wide variety of applications and devices, right from your handlebars.
The main component of the COBI (connected bike) system mounts on the handlebars of the bike, and holds the rider's smartphone, which then connects wirelessly to the rest of the system on the bike. A small separate controller is also mounted on the handlebars, allowing the rider to easily navigate the apps and functions of the COBI system with a single finger. An integrated headlight provides illumination and visibility up front, a separate tail light and turn signal unit broadcasts the rider's intentions to both cars and other cyclists behind them.
But the magic of the COBI system is its ability to integrate access to a wide range of applications while riding, from basic music streaming or listening to fitness tracking to navigation apps and proximity sensing and ebike controls, as well as anti-theft features and a 6000 mAh battery pack. In essence, the system allows riders a truly personalized connected cycling experience, bringing features like those seen in new car dashboards to bike handlebars, and offering a more seamless and intuitive way to put the power of a smartphone to use while on two wheels.
This device may not really appeal to the average recreational cyclist, or those who want to do anything *but* be connected to their smartphone while riding, but for those who use their bike as their main transport and put a lot of miles in the saddle, the COBI system might be a great solution for consolidating all of the other bike gadgets you use into a single integrated system.
As seen in the above video, COBI isn't in production yet, but if all goes according to the team's plan, will launch sometime in the second quarter of 2015. The COBI crowdfunding campaign (which runs through January 2nd) has blown past its original goal of raising $100,000 (in just 4 1/2 days), and is offering backers at the $159 level the chance to get one of the first of either the standard or the ebike version once it's in production.