It seems everything is getting more connected these days. Nothing is spared from the Internet of Things wave sweeping consumer electronics – not even your electric bicycle. At least not since moments ago, when Bosch launched its new SmartphoneHub device designed to keep your electric bicycle constantly connected.
Bosch’s new SmartphoneHub device
The SmartphoneHub by Bosch is the company’s latest take on an electric bicycle display.
The hub is designed as an integral part of Bosch’s electric bicycle component suite and mounts directly onto the handlebars.
From there the SmartphoneHub can either be used in standalone mode, with important e-bike information displayed on its 1.5 inch LCD screen, or as a dock for the rider’s smartphone, where it can display more information on the phone’s larger screen.
But the new Bosch SmartphoneHub isn’t just a display – it is designed with connectivity in mind.
Together with the COBI.Bike app, the smart control center offers a wide range of functions including everything from navigation, music control, fitness tracking, making calls, performing diagnostics on the electric bike and using smartphone services and apps such as Strava or komoot.
According to Bosch eBike Systems CEO Claus Fleischer:
“Kitchen appliances, cars, lawnmowers: society has already embraced the Internet of Things. Connectivity is the ultimate topic of the future for bicycles, especially eBikes: In the future, connected bicycles will offer users almost unlimited possibilities. We are already working on solutions for the mobility of the future, as well as driving developments relating to all aspects of connected biking with new products like the SmartphoneHub.”
All new Bosch motor systems from the 2020 line onwards will be compatible with the SmartphoneHub. There will also be back compatibility with Bosch Active Line motor systems from as early as the 2018 model year.
The system is designed to be used with a smartphone, regardless of whether the phone is actually physically connected. Riders can even keep their phone in their pocket while still maintaining the functionality of the Bosch SmartphoneHub. That will be an added benefit for electric mountain bike riders or anyone who travels on unforgiving terrain and doesn’t want to risk their expensive phone on their handlebars.
The SmartphoneHub also features a separate control unit so that riders can keep their hands on the bars while changing functions. Additionally, voice output built into the SmartphoneHub allows riders to listen to commands, navigations or other prompts from the device without taking their eyes off the road or trail.
According to Bosch:
“If you also want to use your smartphone while riding your eBike, you’ll find the SmartphoneHub provides the perfect connection: click the smartphone into place, open the COBI.Bike app, start pedalling and the connected eBike experience can begin. Using a 2D or 3D map view, the app will reliably guide you to your destination; if you wish you can even get the navigation instructions as voice output. Accurate weather information enables you to enjoy carefree trips through the countryside. Fitness enthusiasts can keep a permanent eye on their training data such as performance, cadence and calories burned, while a heart rate monitor can also be connected using Bluetooth. The SmartphoneHub can turn into a personal trainer by connecting to fitness and health services like Apple Health, Google Fit, Strava and komoot. Entertainment has not been forgotten: the COBI.Bike app allows eBikers access to music and audio book streaming services, such as Spotify or Audible.”
The new SmartphoneHub follows just days after Bosch announced a new line of smaller, lighter and more powerful electric bicycles motors as well as a new higher capacity in-tube battery pack. Bosch currently maintains the lion’s share of the complete electric bicycle motor and battery system market, despite questions about Bosch’s innovativeness compared to its competitors and in the face of increasingly more affordable DIY electric bicycle conversion kit options.
Perhaps this will be enough to silence critics and help Bosch continue to deserve their spot at the top of the industry.
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