LiveRider turns your iPhone/iPod touch into a wireless bike computer
By Darren Quick
August 5, 2010
The popularity of Apple’s iPhone and iPod touch hasn’t just resulted in an explosion of apps available from the iTunes Store, it’s also spawned a stack of hardware accessories designed to extend the capabilities of said devices. Most common are the seemingly endless array of docks, or cases that increase the devices’ battery life. New Potato Technologies has decided for something a bit different with its LiveRider – a bike mounting system that turns your iPhone/iPod touch into a wireless cycling computer.
Like the BioLogic Bike Mount, the LiveRider mount cradle attaches to a bike’s handlebars to put your iPhone front and center while pedaling along. But unlike the BioLogic Bike Mount, the LiveRider incorporates a 2.4GHz RF wireless receiving unit that connects to the iDevices’ 30-pin connector. This unit receives information sent wirelessly from a permanently-sealed, dual-mode sensor mounted on the bike’s frame near the rear wheel that measures both bike speed and pedal tempo.
Using the LiveRider app the device is then able to leverage the capabilities of the iPhone/iPod touch to provide users with a touch screen interface, GPS features providing location and tracking, and accelerometer features to record inclination. The app includes a file system to save detailed data from each ride, which can be reviewed graphically on the bike, or exported via email and imported into a spreadsheet or database. It also includes a real-time Chase Rider function that lets riders compete against their personal best or pace to a training goal.
The shock-absorbing handlebar mount cradle helps protect against vibration and debris and allows the iPhone/iPod touch and receiving dongle to be quickly removed. The dongle is powered by the attached iPhone/iPod touch, while the permanently-sealed wireless sensor unit is powered by a permanent Life-Time battery.
The LiveRider is compatible with iPhone 2G, 3G or 3GS models (iPhone 4 owners miss out) and iPod touch 1G, 2G models with OS 3.0 or higher. The LiveRider hardware weighs three ounces and sells for US$100 – a fraction of dedicated cycling computers such as the Polar CS500, although you will have to provide your own iPhone/iPod touch. The LiveRider app is available as a free download from the iTunes Store.