The makers of wireless shifting conversion kit X-Shifter has now moved to build in voice control functionality, something which the component designer primarily foresees assisting disabled cyclists.
A product of Former SRAM engineer Paul Gallagher, the X-Shifter converts any groupset to wireless with the installation of a Bluetooth activated control. The compatibility is wide-ranging, with the system not restricted by derailleur, cassette or chainring choice.
Having now shipped units to 15 countries as part of pre-sale, an update sent out this week spoke of the introduction of voice shifting, which is apparently “functional and working great”.
“We do have a few minor things to work on. For example, the voice command is not available from iPhone lock screen. This is an Apple policy. However, we are looking for a way to integrate XShifter voice directly with the SIRI API,” said the update.
A handful of other minor technical glitches with associated software are now being ironed out, explained the statement, though the hardware is said to be functioning flawlessly.
“We have had a few rather minor software glitches, but most users are able to use the system unimpeded. We have updated the firmware with all bug fixes, and will be releasing within the next few days after it’s tested more carefully. Current users of XShifter should wait for an email to tell them to update their systems. You will be happy to know that we have the software stable enough to enable the low power mode. So after the firmware update, your ELink should have a standby time of at least 3 months.”
Of the patented system, Gallagher said: “It’s a relatively simple and inexpensive device, so my hope is that this invention will allow all cyclists to experience the benefits of electronic shifting.”
Gallagher outlined that the next step for the system was to sign contracts with distributors and OEM bike makers, meaning that from March 1st pre-sale discounts will cease and a recommended retail price introduced.
It is not yet clear what users will have to say to their bike in order to activate shifting, though buyers will soon receive an update.