Smartphone Bicycle Alarm System on Kickstarter

BikesBeFound hopes to eliminate bike theft, to an extent. The Kickstarter project proposed is a security device that links the bike to the smartphone. No prototypes, CAD images, or mechanical workings are provided so we’ll just have to use our imaginations…

The system is to consist of two components: (1) a USB rechargeable GPS tracking device/alarm that lodges in the frame and (2) a smartphone app. The app will activate the device in the same way a car alarm activates. While activated, if the bike is touched, the tracking device will scream bloody murder while sending the user app-alerts. If the thief still takes the bike, a route is recorded along with current location. The alarm can only be stopped via smartphone.

While reducing theft, this system could spawn unnecessary chaos at the bike rack after a strong wind gust. For this reason, I hope the alarm sensitivity is adjustable. I’m curious also as to how they will mount this inside of the frame for easy remove. BikesBeFound has about 2 months to make its Kickstarter goal of $35,000. Estimated cost of the rig is less than $100.

Comments

cj gordon - 02/23/12 - 4:13pm

Might work but then again those that steal usually figure out a way around the system sooner or later. Nice shot of the Granville Street bridge in Vancouver though. Bet that ride pissed a lot of car drivers off.

Gerald - 02/23/12 - 4:20pm

Not sure how a GPS device will transmit through a bike frame…?

Drew - 02/23/12 - 4:44pm

Hopefully that alarm is wedged at the inside bottom of the seat tube or something or some place where it cant just be removed and thrown away.

Xris - 02/23/12 - 4:48pm

Same way it does through your car. Unless your frame was made of lead.

Topmounter - 02/23/12 - 4:50pm

If it is going to contact a smart phone, it’s going to need a cell (+monthly fee) or wifi device installed inside the bicycle. Bluetooth or IR (much less an RFID?!?) sure as heck isn’t going to cut it.

Something tells me they posted this before their “product design engineer” had a chance to vet the concept.

Topmounter - 02/23/12 - 4:51pm

Oh wait… they probably meant $100 / month… which would cover the cell service for the bike-side device ($60/month USB Internet dongle).

Matt - 02/23/12 - 6:16pm

It seems like the tamper sensor/alarm trigger will keep this from being useful due to false-alarms. A good work around would be to incorporate a tamper sensor into a “u” style bike lock such that the alarm is triggered when the lock is cut. I imagine this could be done by creating an electric circuit through the lock. Keep the transmitter and auditory alarm in the frame as track the bike. Who cares about the lock, it is already cut in half… Wouldn’t be cheap but would work well in theory.

Chipollini - 02/23/12 - 6:26pm

Why does the thief have to be dark skinned and dark eyed? Also, if you’re stupid enough to lock your bike by only the front wheel you deserve to have it stolen. Curious as how this would fit into the top tube of a bike. I could imagine the steerer tube or the seat tube, inside a hollow over sized BB maybe.. I hide joints in my handle bars.

Kovas - 02/24/12 - 12:30am

Alarm plus GPS tracking, all for under a $100 bucks? Sounds like a “steal”
Man, I sure wish I had that like a month ago… Great idea.

Topmounter - 02/24/12 - 11:55am

The cost of the cell plan for the bike-side device alone is a non-starter for me (even at $20/month for a Virgin Mobile dongle). I’ll just keep riding my townie / beater if I need to lock it up. It is consistently the least appealing thing locked to almost any bike rack.

tesla34 - 12/09/12 - 3:25pm

I wonder what progress is being made. Other issues to be addressed:
How can unit be accessed to change battery or SIM card?
How would battery be charged?

It may be that the unit could be located inside the handlebars where it could be more accessible but still hidden. It would be removed for charging battery or changing SIM card.
It would be mechanically latched into position so that removal is easy to detect. Removal could require a special tool, and be time consuming, It could be made difficult to remove when armed.

It would be armed/disarmed by sms message.

When armed, any significant change in GPS location or attempt to remove device would be communicated to owner by SMS and (optionally) start an audible alarm.

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