Chinese search engine Baidu to peddle SmartBike

At least it's not another smartwatch

China's Baidu is often compared to Google: it runs a dominant search engine and is tacking on related services at a brisk pace.

Now the company is even following Google into the provision of odd bicycle-related projects.

Baidu's DuBike is a lot easier to understand than Google's investment in cycle-powered monorail venture Shweeb. The DuBike appears to be a rather more conventional vehicle, save for the inclusion of a suite of sensors that use Bluetooth to beam information on speed and cadence to an Android-powered smartphone.

There's also an on-board power generator said to run the bike's various systems, which include lots of lights, heart-rate sensors embedded in the handle-bars, plus cadence and power sensors and even the chance to charge your phone or other gadgets while you ride. Charging on the fly is by no means a new trick, but the saddle pressure measurement mentioned in this video of the bike is rather out of the ordinary.

Chinese search engine Baidu's DuBike

Baidu's DuBike

The pushie's design looks to be land somewhere between a flat-bar road bike and the kind of semi-slick-tyre-equipped mountain bike often suggested as a usefully rugged urban cruiser. Which makes the presence of a cadence sensor a little odd until one considers that fitness-measurement apps – which Baidu offers – mean just about everyone is now being told it's good to monitor their workouts.

The DuBike is due to debut in December. Prices aren't yet being discussed. ®

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