You’ll save some space when you give your bike a hug with the Clug

Nifty clip holds bike in place, saves you some major space

Thank goodness for Kickstarter — otherwise, how else would we find out about ridiculously awesome concepts like Clug?

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Yes, what you see above is a clip, but be warned — this is no ordinary clip. You see, it’s a bike clip, which can get applied just about anywhere, for the purpose of holding one’s cycle upside down, securely and in place, thereby saving you some serious space.

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New e-bike connects with your smartphone

Cycle taps the technology resources of a user’s smartphone to make for a better ride

Here’s something you don’t get to write every day — check out this e-bike from Croatia!

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The cycle you see above is the Visiobike, and what makes it so cover-worthy is not that it’s a nifty-looking e-bike, but rather the fact that this nifty-looking e-bike hooks up to one’s smartphone, allowing the rider to use the unique combination of the two to do things like unlock the bike, track one’s speed, or check to see what’s behind the rider using the cycle’s built-in rear camera.

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Now, having the smartphone cradle on the bike’s handlebars obviously impedes on the space allotted for our Bluetooth portable speaker holder, but I suppose we can make a bit of room for this awesome piece of technology.

The Visobike hooks up to the phone via Bluetooth technology, and it’s compatible with both iOS and Android devices. Along with the aforementioned functions, the phone can also display a GPS map of the rider’s surrounding area, and any sort of fitness tracking program it’s running will see the data sent to a cloud for review later on.

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There’s also automatic accident reporting and emergency alert if the Visiobike detects any sort of impact. As far as security, the bike comes equipped with GPS tracking and a motion sensor, so its owner knows its whereabouts at all times.

The sporty looking, mountain bike-esque Visiobike has a carbon fiber body, enormous 180mm/160mm hydraulic disc brakes, and a SR Suntour fork. Altogether, the thing weighs, 46.3 pounds, which might be a lot for some, but remember – it is an ebike. There are two versions available, with two different motors: one provides 250W and the other 500W of power, with top speed being either 15.5 mph or 31.1 mph.

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Worth noting: the bike doesn’t drive itself. Rather, it’s a pedelec, so the rider needs only to get on and start pedaling like they would with any normal bike. Once they start going up a hill, the motor kicks in, and it feels pretty much the same.

Visiobike’s lithium-ion, 14.5Ah battery lasts for around 62 miles. After it’s been depleted, the rider will need to plug the bike into an outlet, whereupon it’ll recharge in about three hours.

The Visiobike team just launched a crowd-funding campaign on Indiegogo, with the goal of raising $245,178. Those interested in owning the bike can get the basic version with the weaker motor for $5,318. The better model (automatic transmission and rear camera included) will cost $6,749.

You can only hear this album if you hack it

Band takes unique approach to debuting music

Hey guys! I just came out with a new album, but you can’t hear it unless you’re able to hack the wall it’s hidden behind.

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Yes, that seems to be the marketing approach behind promoting the new album from Netcat, a Seattle-based electronic band. You see, the group’s latest drop, entitled “Cycles Per Instruction”, was released on Github, but only to those who are able to “hack” its contents; that is, in order to hear their newest songs, listeners need to have a working knowledge of the Linux operating system.

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Why the focus on computer software? Well, the band actually uses a fairly technical setup for their music, including 8 to 10 laptops, an instrumented WiFi network, statistical language models, speech synthesis software, and a synth-based on computer vision algorithms. To make sure the level of complication associated with their music carried over to the release of their latest album, the band decided to use a loadable kernel module for the Linux operating system. The alternative was a custom hardware schematic, but their love of software point them back to something less physical.

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All of this is no surprise when you consider the gents that make up the band: Brand Lucia is a research with a PhD in computer science, David Balatero is a computer programmer, and Andrew Olmstead is an engineer . . . in the aerospace industry. They all agree that in making the music harder to access, their listeners would appreciate what they’re listening to a bit more.

After a few days, though, the band did also make the album available on Bandcamp, hack-free. You can access it there, but for those looking for a bit of a challenge, you can install the kernel module from Github here.

Floating speaker shows sound waves as it plays

Concept device stimulates the auditory and visual senses

Check out Giorgio Bonaguro and Juan Soriano Blanco’s new audio techno-gadget: the Virtruvio speaker.

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Inspired by Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man drawing, the spherical speaker features a unique design which allows the user to see the actual sound waves of the music as it’s being played.

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Made of a cubic wooden box, rubber wires in each of the eight corners suspend the speaker in the center. The wires are attached along the diagonals, meaning the speaker — made of either metal or ceramic — gets bounced around by the force of the sound waves generated by the music, thereby giving the user the ability to actually see the sound.

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Virtruvio comes with an auxiliary in-feed, so just about all devices on the market can wire up to it. Right now, though, the speaker’s still in its concept stages, so it won’t be on the market any time soon. Those in the NYC area can check it out later this month at Wanted Design’s Launch Pad.

It’s a cool concept, and certainly a better presentation of sound waves than corn starch vibrating at 30 Hz:

Awesome safety app for cyclists

Real-time tracking app lets family and friends track rider en route

There are a million apps out there for today’s cyclist to peruse, but one in particular just came out, and is definitely worth sharing. “RoadID” is what it’s called, and while you might’ve heard that name before, its latest iteration is worth sharing because it can be used as a means of letting friends and family track a cyclist’s progress in real time.

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What’s more, if the cyclist stops moving for more than five minutes, a notification is sent to that friend / family member, alerting them that the rider might be in trouble.

Also worth noting, the app has a lock screen that displays all vital information about the cyclist for first responders to review when they arrive at the scene (hopefully it never has to be used). Information displayed includes the user’s name, city and state, three emergency contacts, and important medical information (e.g. allergies, medical history, blood type, etc.)

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Obviously, the app can be used for other activities like running, walking, or hiking — basically anything you can take your Bluetooth portable speaker with you. The way the user’s friends and family members can view the status of the cyclist / road warrior is via link, which can be sent by email or text prior to hitting the road.

Beyond emergency situations, the app also makes it easy for riders to track each other down for a meet-up on long rides. So it’s not all doom-and-gloom—it can also be used for on-the-fly get-togethers.

RoadID is free, and can be downloaded via the Apple store.