In this day and age, digital technology has found its way into nearly every aspect of our lives. Love it or hate it, the fact is that it’s here to stay. Might as well embrace the digital evolution, right?
Just when you thought you’ve seen it all, another invention, integration or innovation pops up and blows your mind. Take toothbrushes for example. A few weeks ago I was shopping for my first electric toothbrush and came across a model from Oral-B that’s outfitted with Bluetooth and has it’s own app to help improve your brushing habits. I was blown away at first, but then realized that this is something I desperately need. A hundred bucks later and my brushing habits have become gamified, graphed and greatly improved.
Anyway, forget about the toothbrush and all that; this post is supposed to be about Volata Cycles, a San Francisco based group of product designers, creatives and coders who are taking their extensive expertise to the cycling industry. With a R&D office in Milan, Italy, Volata Cycles is merging the creativity and heritage of Italian design with the innovative spirit of the Silicon Valley to get more people riding a bicycle as their primary means of transport.
In short, Volata is creating a bicycle embedded with a 2.4″ app-based computer that will track your performance, give you the upcoming weather, assist you with turn-by-turn directions and is also equipped with front and rear lights to help you stay visible. The bicycle is also going be outfitted with a GPS-based anti-theft system which uses a motion detector to sense attempted thefts. The bicycle will then relay this information as well as a GPS location to the user.
Pretty rad concept, right? Be sure to learn more at Volata Cycles and check out the press release below.
VOLATA INTRODUCES WORLD’S FIRST PREMIUM HIGH-TECH BICYCLE
The Next Generation Bicycle – Technology, Utility, Performance
San Francisco, CA — July 20th, 2016 — Volata Cycles, Inc. (www.volatacycles.com) introduced the world’s first high-tech bicycle made for next generation cyclists. The first model, created by the San Francisco-based company, is a technologically advanced, low maintenance solution designed specifically for the “performance and utility” usage.
The first of its kind, Volata is equipped with a 2.4-in app-based embedded computer that seamlessly integrates into the handlebar, allowing access to information such as performance, weather forecast, turn-by-turn directions, heart rate, and smartphone notification. The safety features include an integrated horn which creates awareness of cyclists in traffic, while the automated front and rear lights ensure visibility throughout the day. A GPS-based anti theft system informs the owner if anyone tries to steal the bike with a motion detector, which monitors the bike status and sends the user real-time notifications to track the bicycle’s location. A front-hub dynamo automatically charges the internal battery, providing the cyclist with the luxury of never worrying about recharging.
“The bicycle is the most efficient means of human transport ever invented, and in a time when the transition to sustainable transport is a priority, its everyday usage is increasing all over the world. The problem is, the bicycle industry didn’t evolve on the tech side, and did not improve the bicycle with native digital features whose goal is improving riding experience and safety.” says Marco Salvioli, Co-founder and CEO of Volata. “With Volata, we knew we had to push the limits of design and performance, introducing native technology into the bicycle, and we wrapped it up in a stylish Italian design. When you buy a car you don’t need to acquire lights as an accessory, or an iPad as a dashboard. As cars have evolved, also bikes need to evolve.”
The simplicity of the ride allows the cyclist to rid themselves of the complexities modern bike commuters face when using multiple accessories. With the integration of digital native features, combined with a unique design and low maintenance components, Volata creates a new bicycle category: an all-in-one, complete and versatile solution, optimized for the performance and utility usage and suitable for any terrain.
- A built-in 2.4-in computer that GPS-tracks all trips and automatically syncs with Volata’s smartphone app and with the rider’s Strava account; the computer native apps are easily controllable with a thumb joystick without taking hands off the handlebar and displays riding information, weather and instant temperature, turn-by-turn directions, heart-rate (measured from Bluetooth wearable device such as Apple Watch)
- Automated front and tail lights
- Electronic 96 dB horn
- Front dynamo hub that automatically charges the internal battery
- Belt drive transmission – replaces the conventional chain and requires zero maintenance – paired with an internal-gear hub Shimano Alfine 11 di2 with electronic shifting
- GPS- and Motion-based Anti Theft System
- Connectivity with Volata’s smartphone app, that collects all riding stats and shows bike’s location and status (like on modern cars) that can also be used to engage anti theft system
Price and Delivery
Volata is available for online reservation at $299 a twww.volatacycles.com. The balance ($3,200) is due upon delivery that will begin in July 2017.
Volata can be configured online, choosing between four sizes (S, M, L, XL), two colors (Ice White and Moon Gray) and three different saddles (two for men and one for women). In addition to this, Volata will unveil some bicycle extensions, such as carrier rack with expandable bag, frame bag, fenders, and more.
Volata adopts the direct retail model with online reservation. Customers will be able to book a test-ride during events and demos that the company will host, and in the future in Volata Cycles showrooms that the company aims to open at the end of 2017.
About Volata Cycles
Volata Cycles is based in San Francisco with the R&D and Design office in Milan, Italy. Founded by a group of product designers, coders and creatives who bring their extensive expertise to the cycling industry. Volata merges all the heritage and creativity of Italian design with the innovative spirit of the Silicon Valley. Volata aims, in the mid term, to develop bicycles for a wider market range, with the goal of convincing more and more people to use the bicycle every day as a primary means of transport. Volata is proud to assemble bicycles in California.