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A step in the right direction?

 



Copenhagen Climate Conference generated enough hot air to have negated any immediate gains in our species' response to climate change, but some side shows were interesting. This product was presented concurrently, and optimistically branded itself as the Copenhagen Wheel. Whether 'green' products associating themselves to Copenhagen is a good idea is anybody's guess, but the product itself is a good idea, as a clever device which could interest people getting on bikes for transport. It is an electric assist wheel that can be easily retrofitted to any bike, and stores energy from braking for future use driving the bike. It is controlled by a smart phone, which doubles as security feature (if you don't have the correct phone, the wheel won't turn at all) and uploads all kinds of data to the phone for your viewing pleasure, until looking at a phone while riding a bicycle becomes illegal. Questions which come to mind: are iPhones and the like waterproof? Is the hub motor/dynamo thingo waterproof? How much oomph does it add, and how much braking does one have to do to charge it? Can it be plugged in to the mains? Are there any plans for an electrified alley cat series? Why did they pick a guy from the Harlem Globetrotters as a demo model?