Monday, 18 January 2010

Copenhagen wheel – green, but is it practical?

One news item I missed from the Copenhagen meeting in December was the Copenhagen wheel, from MIT, which was launched at the conference.

The wheel is an electronic bicycle add-on based round a Kinetic Energy Recovery System (KERS).  When you brake the kinetic energy is recovered and stored in batteries in the wheel for use later.  The sort of things it can power are a Bluetooth connection to a handlebar-mounted iPhone, travel data such as speed and distance, how close friends are, and air pollution levels.  It can also send you an SMS message if the bike is stolen (which seems very likely, given the obvious, large wheel hub).

The idea of an incentive scheme, whereby people can collect green miles, has also been discussed with the City of Copenhagen.



The wheel is expected to go into production this year, but it does raise a number of questions, such as ‘Does it make it harder to pedal?’ and ‘Why only iPhones?’.  Anyway, it’s a novel green ICT application, see what you think in the video above.

© The Green IT Review

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