In Depth

Lyra: The smart bike you'll never lose

Mission Bicycle Company's connected bike can never go missing, thanks to an integrated GPS system

Many "smart" devices that have appeared on the market in recent years have been targeted towards users looking to simplify laborious tasks with the help of technology.

For instance, start-up company Chowbotics has developed a robot that can create and toss salads. It costs $30,000 (£24,000) and can "put together various kinds of salads in about 60 seconds", The Verge says.

Mission Bicycle Company, however, is looking to put the user firmly back in the saddle of the connected realm with its new "smart" bicycle - Lyra.

Lyra is mainly a conventional bicycle, completely absent of any motor or the regenerative range-extending power packs that often appear on futuristic pedal bikes. 

However, it features an integrated GPS that pairs with a smartphone, allowing owners to keep track of their bikes if they get separated from it. 

"We're the first people to have integrated GPS manufactured in a normal bicycle," product designer Aston Smith told Wareable

"You see it a lot of times in motorised, electric bikes, but those have, a lot of the time, around 18lbs of battery in them. We have one singular battery that can function everything". 

Along with GPS, Lyra also features an array of LEDs which illuminate the whole area around the bike, as well as the road ahead.

Their main purpose is to "get you seen on the streets at night", says Digital Trends, and give "approaching motorists and other road users ample time to safely respond to your presence".

A compact battery just below the handlebars powers both systems. It can be charged using a micro USB cable and provides around a month's worth of power. 

You can purchase a Lyra frame and fork through Mission Bicycle Company's Kickstarter page for $500 (£400), with full bicycles starting at $999 (£800). It's only shipped in the US at the moment, but the company hopes to make it generally available next January.

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