SoBi: The zipcar for Bike
August 14, 2010 Leave a comment
Everything is becoming social these days. Thanks to a New York based startup company called SoBi, we will experience social biking soon. Given the active bike sharing program in Washington, D.C. I hope some genius Washingtonian picks this up, enhance the model and implement it for the Washingtonians.
The concept presents an alternative to traditional public transportation and will allow riders the freedom to find and unlock nearby available communal bikes using an smartphone like Android or iPhone. If you don’t have either of the phones, you can simply enter your account number and pincode into the keypad on the lockbox.
SoBi’s system uses a lock fastened to the bike’s wheel with a GPS system and transmitter built-in. When the bike is locked, it appears on the SoBi app and when you check it out you’re responsible for it.
- You create a SoBi account online or via your mobile phone
- You locate an available bike,
- You then use the app on your Android or iPhone or a pin code on the lockbox. to unlock it. The central server will approve and track the transaction.
SoBi is a bit like the system of “callabike”, which offers flexible returns in the biggest cities of Germany. You register once with the service, then find a bike on the map, call the call center to get an unlock code which can be used to lock and unlock the bike as often as you like and call them again when you leave it at the crossing of two roads.
SoBi is designed with both the cyclist and the city in mind. Riders have their own SoBi profile which tracks their rides and even calculates calories burned. Users can also view a map of their travel habits, share their trips and see if friends are biking nearby.
SoBi bike system is exactly what this environmentally doomed world needs. it comes at a time when perhaps man still has time to undo the gas-guzzling, green-housing, destruction of our ozone layer.
Given the strong focus from the new Administration on Green, I doubt the company will have difficulties to raise funding. There are some loopholes to be filled here which I am sure their management is fully aware of them.