If you are a die hard Nokia fan, there may finally be a smartphone cycling computer solution for you. This week at CTIA in Las Vegas, a start-up called Bike Dashboard won the Push N900 MOD IN THE USA prize. Contestants were asked to connect the N900 smartphone to something they love using the device's open source Maemo software.
Mounted to a good looking fixie from Republic Bike, the husband and wife team, Brett and Sarah Peterson, demonstrated the features of their Bike Dashboard solution. An Arduino micro controller mounted underneath the seat connects to the back wheel Hall effect sensor that uses a magnetic field to track speedometer and odometer readings.
Information is sent from the micro controller via Bluetooth to the N900 mounted on the front handlebars. A front bike light is also connected to the N900 via Bluetooth and can be turned on and off by simply touching a button on the display screen. Using the smartphone's ambient sensor, the Bike Dashboard application will automatically turn on your bike light when it detects that it's getting dark outside.
The Bike Dashboard display shows how fast you are going and how many miles you have traveled. There is also an in application video preview/camera controller in the upper right hand corder that allows you to shoot pictures and video without having to shut down Bike Dashboard in order to open up your camera application. Image and video files will be stored in a folder according to the date and time of the particular ride when taken.
You can also hook the N900 up to some portable speakers to play pre-recorded audio such as a horn or bell to warn people you are coming or to play music as you ride. You can choose to engage the N900 GPS to start recording coordinates and mapping your ride. GPS coordinates are saved to a file so you can upload them to Google Maps or any other application you may already use to track your rides.
I am thinking of how cool the Bike Dashboard solution could be if the Nokia smartphones supported the ANT+ standard as well. You wouldn't need to hardwire into the bike sensors and could also include heart rate information. I guess they theoretically could include HR info with the Polar Bluetooth WearLink transmitter. Anyway, I will be excited to see where Brett and Sarah take this with the $10,000 prize money.
For all of you uber tech geeks like me out there, you can follow the development process of Bike Dashboard cycling computer solution over on the Nokia blog. It's kind of fun to watch each step of their progress up until winning the award this week.