Each year, the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas features new versions of existing health tech, previews of products on the way during the coming year, and longer shot concepts still seeking funding to bring them to completion. Xmera, Inc. brought its eponymous Xmera Bionic Bicycle to CES 2019 to tout the project and to attract interest and backers in the U.S. and European markets.
Xmera describes the Bionic Bicycle as a mix between a bicycle, motorcycle, and workout machine. The Xmera has a high-capacity long-range battery which makes it suitable for daily commutes, according to the company. An optional second battery and motor add torque, Xmera says (though without providing specific details). The bike can carry two passengers and has space behind the seat for an optional storage case.
Xmera’s mobile app works with handle-bar mounted and wristband sensors to help riders maintain their desired heart rate during workouts by modulating the power used by the bike’s motor based on workout goals. The app also reports calories burned, distance, routes, and goals.
Users can program workouts that focus on High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT), cardiovascular conditioning, weight loss, and straight intervals. If your heartbeat falls below your goal during a workout the system gradually lowers the assistance. If you exceed your goal the system adds electric assistance. The bike is Internet-of-Things connected, Xmera claims, although specific wireless technology is not specified other than a GPS tracker.
The Bionic Bicycle as just described represents Xmera’s current product development stage. The next level, however, is as exciting as it will be challenging, and, frankly, calls for a leap of faith. The company hopes to obtain funding to develop a smart bike helmet that tracks brain waves and can change bike gears with eye blinks. Xmera also intends to launch a crowdfunding campaign to “finalize the app and integrate with all popular smartwatches and smart trackers that have a BPM sensor.”
Innovation requires taking risks and challenging convention. Xmera’s current and future plans certainly entail both risk and challenge. The Bionic Bicycle looks good, but it needs to get to market and find acceptance and success before embarking on a second, more difficult stage. Delivering a shipping product will be an essential first step.