Connectivity and e-bikes make for easier rides

BARCELONA, Spain — The pervasive creep of the Internet from computers and phones to all kinds of objects is the theme of this year’s edition of the Mobile World Congress wireless show.

EASY RIDER. This e-bike from Ford on display at the Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile phone trade show, in Barcelona, Spain can be connected to a Bluetooth heart-rate monitor to optimize any workout, and is also programmed to let you cool down during the final stretch of your exercise session. (AP FOTO)
EASY RIDER. This e-bike from Ford on display at the Mobile World Congress, the world’s largest mobile phone trade show, in Barcelona, Spain can be connected to a Bluetooth heart-rate monitor to optimize any workout, and is also programmed to let you cool down during the final stretch of your exercise session. (AP FOTO)

One of the quirkiest innovations on display during the four-day event earlier this month was an e-bike from Ford.

Ford said that riding a bicycle to work sounds great, until you arrive drenched in sweat, so, among other reasons, the company is experimenting with improving electric bicycles.

The car company unveiled two electric bikes— one for regular city travel and one for commercial use for messengers or delivery — that connect to smartphones through Bluetooth, as well as physically via a mounted dock.

An associated smartphone application plans your route and the bike indicates when you need to turn by vibrating the right or left hand grip. If both vibrate, look out: it means a car is close behind.

The bikes can be connected to a Bluetooth heart-rate monitor that can increase the bike’s motor power to let you rest if overexerted. They can also be programmed to let you cool down during the final stretch of your journey.

“We are in an experimental phase” said Eric Klampfl, Global Future Mobility Manager for Ford Research and Innovation Center. So interested cyclists will have to wait. (AP)

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