Wox brings motors and monitoring to suction-cup bike carriers
We've seen suction-cup car-top bicycle carriers before, although you've gotta wonder if users would constantly be worrying about them coming unstuck. Albike's Wox offers a solution, in that it incorporates a motorized vacuum pump, and it wirelessly notifies users if the seal breaks.
Designed by Mexican engineer Carlos Albarrán Núñez, the Wox consists of two sections. The larger one, which is placed at the front of the car's roof, incorporates three suction cups, the pump, the lithium-ion battery, and other electronics. It's linked by an air hose to its smaller suction-cup-equipped counterpart, in the rear.
Users attach both parts by powering up the pump, causing all of the suction cups to adhere to the roof. After removing their bike's front wheel, they then mount its fork in a quick-release axle on the front unit, and secure its back wheel to the rear unit via a built-in strap. They then get in the car and start driving.
At regular intervals, the pump will automatically kick in to maintain the seal. Should that seal be compromised, the fault will be detected by an integrated air pressure sensor. The Bluetooth-equipped Wox will then send an alert to an iOS/Android app on the user's phone, letting them know to pull over and re-secure their bike.
Additionally, if the user wants to temporarily leave their car unattended, they can "arm" the Wox to send an app alert if anyone tries messing with it. The device can also be tracked via its GPS module if stolen, although thieves are admittedly more likely to take the bike and leave the Wox on the vehicle.
The two units have a combined weight of around 7 lb (3 kg), and can reportedly hold a maximum payload of 60 lb (27 kg). One 3-hour charge of the battery should be good for a claimed two days of use.
If you're interested, the Wox is currently the subject of a Kickstarter campaign. A pledge of MX$6,800 (about US$463) will get you one, if everything goes according to plan.
It's demonstrated in the video below.