China's Baidu developing an OS for smart bikes

Baidu plans to reveal a prototype later this year

Chinese search giant Baidu is getting on the smart bike bandwagon with an operating system that lets cyclists track their workouts and routes.

Baidu plans on revealing a prototype bike running the OS, which hasn't been named yet, later this year. The bike isn't meant to be a self-driving vehicle, but a health-tracking system geared for bike riders wanting to improve their workouts, a company spokeswoman said Friday.

Called the DuBike, the prototype bike will let riders monitor their health stats, such as calories burnt and heart rate, in addition to offering traffic and mapping data to find the best routes. It will do this by using sensors, artificial intelligence software, and Internet data from Baidu. Riders can operate the system through voice commands or an onboard display.

The DuBike system will also come with social networking functions, safeguards to protect the bike from being stolen, and a battery pack that can be used to recharge smartphones or other devices.

Baidu hinted back in September that it was working on a smart bike, after showing off its own answer to Google Glass. The company's BaiduEye is a headmounted device that can visually scan and identify objects, but the product is still in development.

The company is best known as China's largest search engine, but it's increasingly expanding its services to electronics and household articles. Last month, Baidu also showed off a pair of smart chopsticks that can be used to scan food quality.

In April, the company announced its "Baidu Inside" initiative, the goal to partner with hardware makers on building smart household appliances. Some of these prototypes included printers, air quality monitors and weighing scales.

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Michael Kan

IDG News Service
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