OpenBike Charges Phones, Lights, and Connects Your Bike to the Cloud

OpenBike has not designed an electric bike. Let’s get that straight at the beginning. The company reimagined what should be standard equipment in pedal-powered bikes in an age of battery-powered-mobile-networked-everything.

Anybody who rides a bike to commute to work, or in a serious recreational way, probably has battery powered clip-on bike lights (and has forgotten to recharge them). He or she likely has a handlebar mount for a smart phone—that also needs recharging. And that phone might connect to a fitness bracelet or other kind of monitor, and send data about the ride to the cloud.

OpenBike cofounder Randall Jacobs says that lights, phone mounts, cloud communications, and more, should be standard on bicycles today, not a hodgepodge of add-on equipment. His company, OpenBike, launched at the Highway 1 hardware accelerator earlier this month, has designed a power and communications network to be built into bikes. At the center is a single battery recharges through pedal power. A USB port in the handlebars lets your phone charge as you ride; the battery also powers head and rear lights, an automatic brake light,…[Read more]