The research wing of Chinese web services company Baidu is developing a smart bicycle called Dubike that can generate its own electricity, in collaboration with the Industrial Design department at Tsinghua University (+ slideshow).
Sensors distributed throughout the component parts of the bicycle collect data including pedalling frequency, heart rate, velocity, seating pressure and foot pressure. A navigation bar that offers riders the best routes to their destinations is integrated into the handlebar atop the bike's black single-piece moulded chassis.
Any information gleaned from the bike can be synchronised to a mobile device using Bluetooth, making this data available for analysis and for sharing on a specially designed social network.
An accompanying app will allow cyclists to measure their performance against preset fitness programmes, the results of which can also be shared on social media.
IDL is working on a bespoke operating system for the bicycle, which features mapping, navigation, and health monitoring. This software platform could be made available to other bike manufacturers.
Further information on the design, including its materials and weight, will be revealed when the bike goes on sale.
Baidu is one of the largest web companies in China. It is most well known for its Chinese-language search engine, leading to it being commonly known as the "Chinese Google". The business also offers a range of online services including a collaborative encyclopaedia and a discussion forum.
It claims the Dubike will launch in China by the end of the year.
Canadian company Vanhawks recently unveiled a smart bike that's able to offer turn-by-turn directions to the rider, while another project in China proposed an electric bike that can be folded away and stored in a backpack.