OpenBike has revealed that it has partnered with Marin to build the “bicycle of the future” at the Highway1 Demo Day.
Speaking to CyclingIndustry.News about the project, Jacobs said: “Marin is the first OEM adopter we are public with, and we are excited to collaborate with such a respected and forward-thinking brand. We are working with a limited number of companies towards launch and will make OpenBike available to others as development and production bandwidth allows.”
The brainchild of two time amatuer national champion Randall Jacobs and his business partner Kyle Manna, OpenBike is described as an operating system for bicycles. The prototype reveals an all in one integrated package that delivers anti-theft features, headlights, USB charging, a phone mount, integrated automatic tail lights and turn signals, among other features.
“What would we do with a clean slate,” asked Jacobs in a presentation earlier this month. “Well it’s obvious, right? We’d take all the things an integrate them into one system. We’d start with the features that matter most to us.”
Jacobs goes on to list OpenBike’s features, before telling the gathered crowd “You will not have to wait long, because we are building the first batch with Marin Bikes right here in California.
“So with Openbike, one battery powers everything on the bicycle, charges as you pedal and charges your phone. One network allows components to inter-operate, so when you squeeze the brake lever, you have a brake light, because of course you do. You’ll have turn signals, because how is that not a thing? Sensors and software automate features and it’s all connected.”
Indicating that the “operating system” will be available as an OEM kit, Jacobs added: “Companies struggle with electronics, so you end up with aftermarket add-ons and a Frankenbike. With OpenBike, we provide an open platform for power control and connectivity making it easy for the industry to deliver the bicycle of your dreams.
“By solving the industry’s hardware headaches we have an opportunity to be how bicycles connect to the internet, for things like anti-theft and insurance, on demand bicycle repair and fleet management and that’s not all.”
Intriguingly, a slide on OpenBike’s website asks “Why is electronic shifting so expensive”, perhaps indicating a challenge to makers of e-components.
Back in February, OpenBike joined Highway1, a leading hardware accelerator backed by PCH International. With just nine companies chosen out of 300+ applicants, Open Bike say the class has proven to be not only remarkably strong, but also hugely collaborative and helpful in assisting the project’s advance.
Watch Jacobs’ presentation below: