The DuBike was designed by Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU) in collaboration with the design department at Tsinghua University, and so far pictures have been released of one gray colorway. It has been predicted that different models and colors will be released when the bicycle comes into production. Baidu has been attempting to diversify away from its original function as a search engine, following in the footsteps of American rival Google Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) (NASDAQ:GOOG).
Baidu DuBike’s features
The bike comes with Bluetooth connectivity which allows it to interact with your smartphone. As a result it has many of the same capabilities as fitness wearables which are currently on the market.
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The DuBike features built-in GPS which enables real-time location updates, invaluable if your bike is stolen. This is very similar to the Google Device Tracker which was updated this week. The GPS also allows for route-planning based on real-time traffic information. If you haven’t got enough on your plate updating your Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or Ello accounts, you can now join a new DuBike-specific social network to connect with other riders.
One of the main features of the DuBike is its health-tracking abilities. It measures your heart rate using a separate wearable and heart rate monitors in the handlebars, speed, pedal rate and air pressure. The information is used to recommend workout plans with the aid of a separate smartphone app.
Baidu Inc (ADR) (NASDAQ:BIDU)’s research arm, known as the Institute of Deep Learning (IDL), released an OS for smart bikes in October. It said at the time that it intends to allow for the creation of crowdsourced riding maps, exercise plans and other features.
Other details have not been forthcoming and it seems very unlikely that the bike will ever be released outside of China, but fans are hoping that the DuBike will encourage other technology companies to develop a similar product for other markets. Baidu looks set to continue to innovate in the Chinese market, using the Institute of Deep Learning as a breeding ground for new ideas.