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wifi bike alarm

wifi based bike alarm
  (+11, -4)
(+11, -4)
  [vote for,

Hotspot owners (Starbucks, McDonalds etc) that have a bike rack outside their premises.

With a new hypothetical WiFi device attached to your bicycle, and a small fee paid to the hotspot owner, it could protect your bike; the device would 'ping' a service hosted somewhere on the internet at regular intervals - if the 'ping' disappears, the service would send an SMS (MMS ? and take a few seconds video of bike rack ?) to inform you that your bike is being nicked ?

monojohnny, May 25 2006

example off-the-shelf hotspot detector http://www.jiwire.c...tout-contenders.htm
[monojohnny, May 30 2006]


       How about making the bike constantly ping via any available open network? If the bike is nicked, you might be able to use that data to track it down as the thief moves it around.
danpat, May 26 2006

       Good thinking. So you buy a year's voucher or something - and it will connect to any wireless hotspot as you pass them.   

       As a consumer / bike owner, some spots would then be safer than others - possibly there would be no escape route without passing through another hotspot on the way.
monojohnny, May 26 2006

       Good point ! :-)   

       Ok modify it so that bike-lock contains the wifi device - so that if the lock is broken (ie simple electric circuit), the device can send a different signal back to the hotspot?
monojohnny, May 26 2006

       I can imagine someone running around trying to get rid of a bike-lock.
skinflaps, May 26 2006


       Need it for my motorcycle at my HOUSE!
Galbinus_Caeli, May 26 2006

       good point skinflaps !   

       It needs to be attached pretty firmly to the bike.   

       A normal lock would be needed as well obviously.
monojohnny, May 26 2006

       yeah, just hide the device inside the down tube. (+)
neilp, May 28 2006

       Why not instead of constant reminders, simply a conspicuous alarm when the bike is jostled/moved a certain distance? Nice idea though. Opens up a whole realm of bicycle/WIFI/mobile technovations.
epicproblem, May 29 2006

       epicproblem - good enhancement , audible alarm as well I think - but I wasn't of constant reminders - just a single 'theft-occurence-event' - which would trigger a text message (or MMS) - the constant pinging would be say 'I'm still here, I'm still here', which you would need to ensure the alarm could contact the hotspot.   

       I don't know enough about 802.x to say whether it could utilise a lower-level (and presumably lower-power) 'ping' than an actually 'HTTP GET' or something.   

       - Just something that indicates the device is still within range.   

       Of course if the batteries on the device went, that would also count as a 'theft'....
monojohnny, May 29 2006

       Just understood your take on this epicproblem....   

       A simpler and cheaper device (and wouldn't require involvement from hotspot owner) would be a simple 'hotspot' detector - nothing fancy - just detects the signal - sets of an audible alarm if it disappears....(or weakens to a point)....   

       One possible drawback however: the thing might have to be aware which hotspot it's monitoring...otherwise the thief could sneak around hotspots, just ensuring there was a single available....   

       Plus (darn it) - When McDonald's shuts....then presumably they'd switch off their hotspot....
monojohnny, May 29 2006

       I'm sure the power draw would be minimal enough at bike level to be very practical. Or, replace brake pads with electromagnetic coils, generate electricity while you pedal?   

epicproblem, May 30 2006

       gps bike. clever. too easy to bake. baked?
sweet, May 30 2006

       I have an idea for a really crap prototype: (on the lines of epicproblem's suggestion -audible alarm)   

       Get hold of a standard hotspot detector like this one: (will attach link)   

       Which has LED's to indicate strength of WiFi signal.   

       Now build an alarm circuit, which is triggered with an LDR (or some other optical semiconductor), and a switch.   

       Tape the alarm to the hotspot detector - so that the LDR lines up with (say) the lowest or second lowest LED on the it....   

       When the LED goes out (ie loss of hotspot signal), the alarm would be triggered.   

       Potential problems:   

       1. I don't know but I would imagine hotspot detectors aren't always on - would have to bodge this to latch on.   

       2. Batteries will be drained quite fast because of 1.   

       3. Not sure how to match the light frequency of the green LED's with the LDR.
monojohnny, May 30 2006


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