The first ever electric bicycle with Amazon’s digital assistant built in made its public debut at CES this week.

According to Amazon, Cybic is the first company to offer an Alexa-enabled bike. The complete range, which includes a hybrid and non-electric Legend, will be sold in the UK through Halfords this summer. A Cybic spokesperson hinted that the bicycles will come to other markets later.
“It’s a hands-free operation, so you don’t have to stop the bike to take your phone out,” said David Kumar, product manager at Alexa Voice Services. “You can forward your phone number to the SIM card, so you don’t really even need to carry your phone.”

The bike, which will be launched alongside an electric version, features a control mounted on the handlebars that lets riders access its internet connected features.

That includes performance data, personalised light settings, theft tracking, a security lock, an alarm and a music player.

Actually listening to Alexa proved tricky. For one, the speaker in the bike was too quiet, tinny and crackly. It should be possible, however, to connect some Bluetooth headphones and listen to Alexa that way. The second problem was connectivity.
Cybic’s bikes can access the internet through a tethered phone or bundled Vodafone SIM card (each bike will come with a three-year data plan). On the show floor, where connectivity of any kind is impossible, the bike struggled to deliver timely responses. I asked for a flash briefing, for instance, and heard the first headline minutes later.
At the top of a frame, near the stem, is a plastic panel with three physical buttons. These “park” the bike using a smartly integrated rear-hub lock, turn on the frame’s front and rear lights, and snap a picture with any Bluetooth or WiFi-connected camera.
Like VanMoof, a smart bike startup based in Amsterdam, the Cybic has integrated GPS to combat any potential thieves. It’s not clear, however, if the company is developing any kind of premium retrieval service that doesn’t put your own life in danger.

Kumar said, a rider could say, “I want to burn 100 calories.” Then, Alexa would ask for your body weight and map a route for you accordingly. Kumar said the new e-bike could also track the distance a bicyclist has traveled and estimate the amount of time it will take to get back home.
“Of course, and most importantly, you can ask, ‘Where is the nearest Starbucks?’ and it will tell you where it is and route you there,” Kumar said.
In its default mode, the e-bike’s screen will display speed, elevation and remaining battery power. Smart LED lane lighting allows the bike to project a beam on its sides, so that others know not to get too close at night. Other features of the bike include a built-in headlight, a built-in speaker, tire pressure sensors, a Wi-Fi hotspot and turn signals.


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