viernes, 3 de julio de 2015

How pedal power could charge your phone

BBC Click's Lara Lewington looks at some of the latest cycling technology.

Self-study activity:
Watch the video and note down the different gadgets that are mentioned and what they do.

Cycle polo. Informal, urban, and as these people told me, still being made up as they go along. For these players, cycling isn’t just about sport. It is also their chosen method of transport every day. So who better to test the latest urban cycling tech with?
We managed to get our hands on some innovative devices at prototype stage, so designs and functionality aren’t perfected yet.
So I have a few toys here I would like to put to the test. First off  (1) a backpack. As a cyclist, being seen and your intentions being known are vital. So these lights that can be worn on any backpack can help.
It feels like I'm wearing a day pack.
I believe you are about to turn right.
I know the control is working but I don’t know if that… both working. A battery half-way through could be my only way of indicating and I'm trusting that this is telling people where I’m going.
Perhaps these (2) gloves will fare better. So the idea is that you hold your hand up to indicate and as soon as you bring thumb and finger together, it points an arrow.
They look like decent gloves.
The thing I like about it is that it doesn’t stop you doing what you are taught to do but it accentuates it.
What did you think of the battery wearing them?
It's very simple to use, it looks like gloves. I have never indicated them and found people can’t see me.
For those cyclists who say it is everyone else on the road that is the problem, well here’s your chance to prove it or not. This (3) backlighting camera records into two-hour loops everything that is going on behind you. It has a 130 degree wide angle lens, five hours battery life and records two hours of timestamps footage. The recordings continually loop, overwriting earlier footage, so you always have your last two hours of video stored.
Would you actually use one of these cameras?
I'm not sure if I would feel the need to always feel behind myself. It doesn’t seem bright enough for me. It's only really bright if you are looking directly at it.
What is it?
I’m going to explain to you in a moment.
Even in fog, (4) this radar warns a rider of what is going on up to 140 metres behind them. As a speedy vehicle approaches, not only does the backlight flash to warn of the bicycle's presence but it warns the cyclist of a potential hazard via the light panel in front of them.
I would definitely pick that up.
Would you want to use it in the real world?
Probably not. It stops you thinking about looking behind you. You should always be making those checks behind you.
What's your view on it?
It’s kind of not as good as a mirror.
Bike theft is something technology is trying to fight as well. This (5) lock only works via your smartphone. Its embedded sensors can even alert you if someone is merely tampering with the bike. And GPS tracking means that if it does get taken, you should know where to find it.
Sometimes your phone runs out of batteries and I think I would be a little bit worried about that. Essentially, the most important thing about a bike lock is how easy it is to cut through.
Maybe you feel your bike could do a bit more for you like charge mobile phone. Let's look at what this does.
This (6) USB charger gets its power from peddling, allowing you to charge your devices whilst on the go.
More lapse, more lapse.
That is wicked!
What did you think?
I think this is a really cool thing. I think it's really useful, it doesn’t affect the functionality of the bicycle at all. You know, you’re doing hundreds of miles and you don’t necessarily have access to a PowerPoint.
And we’ve also got the element there where there’s a removable battery pack, giving somebody who doesn’t work in an office where you’ve got a computer, then that gives you a USB charger on the go as well.
Yeah, a think this is a great gadget.
Mixed reactions from our serious cyclists but it's not until the finished products are available that we will see if the occasional cyclists feel the same.