Ideas for bike-related apps on new iPhone

Steve Jobs of Apple unveiled his latest gadget today, the iPhone 4. It’s got lots of nifty new features, and one of them in particular seems like it could foretell some interesting new bike-related apps.

The new iPhone has tied the gyro, accelerometer, and GPS capabilities together for “6-axis motion sensing.” With GPS, a gyroscope, accelerometer, compass, proximity sensor, and an ambient light sensor all rolled into one, I wondered how the new phone might be used by bike lovers. Since this is beyond my mental-technological grasp, I asked my friends on Twitter for ideas. Here are the ones I’ve gotten so far:

  • @BeelJDPhD self-orienting maps?
  • @OTREC More opps [opportunities] for researchers to use as a data collecting tool [OTREC is the Oregon Transportation Research and Education Consortium.]
  • @bikehugger the new camera with HD video and that retina display in a @dahonfolding iphone mount very intriguing for moblogging [mobile blogging].
  • @gschander be able to sense angle of travel (uphill say) for determining effort expended on ride. More accurate route taken mapping.
  • @carltonreid Bike journey planning apps will now sense when you’ve crashed cos looking at weeny screen. [Carlton is the editor of Bike Biz magazine in the U.K.]
  • @toddfahrner precise iphone gyro should enable power calculation knowing mass, rolling resistance, aero info. [Todd is a co-owner of Clever Cycles.]
  • @jessicaroberts It tells you if you’re drunk?

It will be interesting to see how it’s used. If you have more ideas, share them in the comments below.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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jeff
jeff
13 years ago

there’s the map-my-ride iphone application already.

Paulie
Paulie
13 years ago

Is there an app for telling you you’re about to crash because you’re looking at your phone instead of watching where you’re going?

Spencer Boomhower
13 years ago

I’ve gone on about this in more detail on this site – http://bit.ly/aWoWKj – but generally, I think apps that use location data to make the shortest, safest, most convenient trips possible can be a real boon to people on bikes. Such as using your phone to find the nearest restaurant or business of a certain type, finding the safest route there, and even dodging (the endless freaking) rain storms on the way there.

And I think this could be really powerful in combination with augmented reality, an example of which is UrbanSpoon’s “scope”

http://mashable.com/2009/10/14/urbanspoon-augmented-reality/

In that case you hold up your phone to see the nearest restaurants superimposed as dots on the screen, real-time.

I could see that applied to weather: hold up your phone to see storm clouds approaching from beyond the horizon.

And what would be really neat would be to be able to see a real-time 3D representation of bike routes superimposed upon your view, so you could get a sense of steepness, safety and convenience of all nearby routes, all at once.

I should have been a programmer. 🙂

amckimmey
amckimmey
13 years ago

a app to look up all the bike laws in your area.

National
State
City

so you have for prof to show that you are legal riding on the road.

also a real bike mount for the iPhone

encephalopath
encephalopath
13 years ago

Accident investigation: the accelerometer could tell you how fast a vehicle was traveling at impact, assuming it can measure really high g-forces without breaking.

Also assuming you could adapt the feature for that use.

Allan
Allan
13 years ago

@4: also, can set high score for most laws broken at once

Rich Wilson
Rich Wilson
13 years ago

Is there actually anything new in the iPhone 4, other than the video maybe? It already does that “where am I which way am I pointed” stuff.

Btw, for Android users out there, sportstracklive.com does most of the same stuff as mapmyride.com.

What I’d like to see is a video ‘buffer’, so I could record, say, 2 min of video. At the end of 2 min, it would drop off the start and add to the end, so I always have a 2 min window. And it would auto-stop when I did. That way, if anything ‘interesting’ happened, I could save it, but I wouldn’t have to save every byte of a boring 1hr ride.

That and we need a bike powered USB charger, both for lights and gadgets.

Chris Smith
13 years ago

Think about how these capabilities might be applied in combination with other local open data sets. Check out http://www.civicapps.org/ideas for some of the things people are thinking about.

K'Tesh
K'Tesh
13 years ago

Car repellent?

Brian E
Brian E
13 years ago

Phaser, set to stun.

SVE
SVE
13 years ago

Time lapse photography of a long bike ride. Take a picture every 10 feet of riding (determined by GPS & 6DOF accelerometer). Splice it together and smooth out the video bumpiness caused by vibrations by using detailed camera orientation information. Then create a 60 second bike ride movie for youtube covering your 50 mile bike ride through wine country or down some single track!

hanmade
hanmade
13 years ago

Help you find your friend who also has an iphone. The screen would show two red dots moving towards each other! (or away depending on how lost you were!)

Adam
Adam
13 years ago

App for nearest bike corrals. That’d be neat, thankyou. The number of times I lock up to some flimsy pole, only to walk two blocks to the place I’m going to, to discover a bike corral I never knew was there!

spare_wheel
spare_wheel
13 years ago

a flashing warning indicating that you are using closed-source technology from a monopolistic company that uses sweat-shop labor.

Todd Boulanger
Todd Boulanger
13 years ago

How about a bike theft warning meter…telling you where the hot zones are for areas you are visiting or the trick of the day (sucker pole, etc.)?

notinpdx
notinpdx
13 years ago

Paulie #2 and
spare_wheel #14 are good
or
Duct tape to underside of pedal and get cadence.

joe adamski
joe adamski
13 years ago

Do not feed the beast.

Hydronics
Hydronics
13 years ago

How about a bikeportland app? I know your always looking to make a dollar and I would give you a couple bucks for sure.