For roof rack users that park in a garage, it’s their worst nightmare. You finish a great ride, you put your bike on the roof, and drive home – only to drive your precious ride into your garage ceiling potentially destroying your bike, your rack, and damaging your car. However, thanks to an entertaining Kickstarter out of Flagstaff, AZ there is a solution to your exercise induced inattentiveness called RoofBrain. The premise is fairly simple, design a device that communicates with an app on your phone that alerts you when your bike is in danger of a low overhang. Maybe it sounds like something you would never do, but ask around and you may be surprised to hear how many bikes have met their fate on top of a car…
See how RoofBrain could save your bike after the break.
Working off of GPS satellites, RoofBrain is a root top device that communicates with your Apple or Android smart phone through an included app. The app lets you tag known locations for roof top clearance issues, and since it operates off GPS a strong cell signal is not needed for it to work. After loading your bike onto the car, simply press the button on the RoofBrain and the system is armed. Why not just use the app? RoofBrain actually tested that option, and without the RoofBrain device, users forgot to arm the system almost 75% of the time! However, when putting the bike on the roof, the visual stimulus of actually seeing the button resulted in much better results.
The RoofBrain app allows tags to be made public or private. Private tags are used for things like your own garage since you don’t want people knowing your address, while public tags are useful for drive throughs, parking garages, or anywhere bike clearance is a problem. Obviously, the more people who use RoofBrain, the more public tags, the less chance of you destroying your bike.
The RoofBrain team is through the prototyping phase with a pebble shaped final casing. The device will use Bluetooth LE to talk to your phone, which thanks to the low power draw allows the device to operate on a coin cell battery. The Brain case will attach to your vehicle either with a powerful magnet, or a rubberized strap that also includes a magnet. Thanks to a password protected software lock, RoofBrain hopes to discourage theft since you will not be able to use a Brain unit without the password.
RoofBrains will be sold through the Kickstarter for $75 which includes access to the app, with an estimated delivery of May 2014.