Bicycles

BikeWatch brings alarm, LED light and cable lock together in one device

BikeWatch brings alarm, LED li...
A combined bike alarm, light and cable lock called BikeWatch has launched on Indiegogo
A combined bike alarm, light and cable lock called BikeWatch has launched on Indiegogo
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Within the stylish 3.9 x 3.5 x 1.5-inch anodized aluminum housing is a 105 dB tamper and movement alarm, and dual 50,000 millicandela LED light strips
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Within the stylish 3.9 x 3.5 x 1.5-inch anodized aluminum housing is a 105 dB tamper and movement alarm, and dual 50,000 millicandela LED light strips
The alarm is activated and deactivated with an iMax iButton key and reader
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The alarm is activated and deactivated with an iMax iButton key and reader
A combined bike alarm, light and cable lock called BikeWatch has launched on Indiegogo
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A combined bike alarm, light and cable lock called BikeWatch has launched on Indiegogo
BikeWatch is available as a 3.3 ft long, 0.2-inch wide regular version, and a 6 ft, 0.06-inch pull-in cable that's integrated into the IP53 water-resistant housing
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BikeWatch is available as a 3.3 ft long, 0.2-inch wide regular version, and a 6 ft, 0.06-inch pull-in cable that's integrated into the IP53 water-resistant housing
BikeWatch is available with a detachable 3.3 ft long, 0.2-inch wide steel cable
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BikeWatch is available with a detachable 3.3 ft long, 0.2-inch wide steel cable
A second version of BikeWatch comes with a 6 ft, 0.06-inch pull-in cable that's integrated into the housing
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A second version of BikeWatch comes with a 6 ft, 0.06-inch pull-in cable that's integrated into the housing
When the alarm is active, the iButton will be needed for cable release and/or alarm deactivation
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When the alarm is active, the iButton will be needed for cable release and/or alarm deactivation
Cutaway schematic showing the battery, iButton reader, LEDs and fiber optic cable
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Cutaway schematic showing the battery, iButton reader, LEDs and fiber optic cable
If the cable is cut, the alarm sounds for ten minutes
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If the cable is cut, the alarm sounds for ten minutes
If any vibration is detected by BikeWatch while the alarm is active (including attempts to remove any of the four seatpost attachment screws), the unit beeps once
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If any vibration is detected by BikeWatch while the alarm is active (including attempts to remove any of the four seatpost attachment screws), the unit beeps once
A short finger push on the iButton reader turns the LEDs on or off
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A short finger push on the iButton reader turns the LEDs on or off
The BikeWatch team has created a special Indiegogo version
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The BikeWatch team has created a special Indiegogo version
View gallery - 12 images

We love our bikes here at Gizmag. We really appreciate efforts to help keep our rides out of the hands of thieves, too, especially those innovations that serve more than one purpose – such as the Küat Racks Bottle Lock, or the Interlock seatpost bike lock. BikeWatch is just such a device, attaching to any 27.2 - 31.6 mm seatpost and combining a bike alarm, rear LED light and cable lock in one attractive unit.

Kristians Licis, Kaspars Skerba, and Gatis Mencendorfs out of Riga, Latvia came up with the 3-in-1 BikeWatch design as a more practical way to secure a bike to railings than heavy chains or U-locks, and an inexpensive alternative to GPS trackers. Four prototypes later and they now have an eye-pleasing pre-production model they're happy to make public.

Within the stylish 3.9 x 3.5 x 1.5-inch (100 x 90 x 40-mm) anodized aluminum housing is a 105 dB tamper and movement alarm, and dual 50,000 millicandela LED light strips. As you can see from the schematic below, the latter is made up of four side-mounted 5 mm Vishay TLCR5800 red LEDs and two fiber optic cables.

Cutaway schematic showing the battery, iButton reader, LEDs and fiber optic cable
Cutaway schematic showing the battery, iButton reader, LEDs and fiber optic cable

BikeWatch is powered by a 9-volt battery that's reported to offer 24 hours of continued use at maximum brightness, or about 350 hours in blink mode – a convenient but potentially expensive battery option.

"To produce a louder noise, we needed 18 V which can be easily ensured by a 9 V battery," Licis explained. "These are also more resistant to the cold than Li-ion batteries, which is important if you want to use our product in winter. It's also possible to get a rechargeable 9 V battery, too."

The device's bike lock cable comes in two flavors – a 3.3 ft (1 meter) long, 0.2-inch (5 mm) wide regular version that separates completely from BikeWatch, and a 6 ft (1.8 m), 0.06-inch (1.5 mm) pull-in cable that's integrated into the IP53 water-resistant housing.

"They are regular steel cables," said Licis. "It's not possible to cut them with regular cutters, but it is possible with larger ones. Their main function is to protect bike against grabbing and riding off. If cables are cut, the alarm goes off at maximum volume."

An electronic lock secures the cable to the device. If the rider doesn't activate the onboard alarm using the supplied iMax iButton key when locking it to the railings or bike park, the cable-locking mechanism can be released by pressing a finger on the electronic key reader to the top of the unit for three seconds (the LED lights are also turned on and off with a short finger push on this key reader).

When the alarm is active, the iButton will be needed for cable release and/or alarm deactivation
When the alarm is active, the iButton will be needed for cable release and/or alarm deactivation

When the alarm is active, the iButton will be needed for cable release and/or alarm deactivation. If the cable is cut, the alarm sounds for ten minutes. After that, it will sound only when movement is detected, saving battery power if the thief has thought better of trying to walk off with your precious two-wheeler, but still remaining alert to movement.

If any vibration is detected by BikeWatch while the alarm is active (including attempts to remove any of the four seatpost attachment screws), the unit beeps once and remains ready to activate the alarm proper for the next ten seconds. If nothing more happens in that time, the device returns to "waiting" mode.

If there's more movement within that ten-second window, three more warning sounds are fired off. Should the would-be thief still not get the "back off" message, the alarm sounds for as long as there is continued movement, and for 30 seconds after the vibration stops.

In order to raise funds for tooling and to cover minimum order costs, the design team has launched on Indiegogo. A light-only model is available for US$49, and an early bird pledge of $65 will get you one of the first 100 alarm/light combinations. Once they're gone, the cost will rise to $79. A pledge of $109 will secure an alarm/light/regular cable device, and there's another early bird special for the design that features an integrated cable ($105). A colorful Indiegogo special has been created for a pledge of $159.

BikeWatch bike theft experiment

BikeWatch - more than just a bicycle alarm

Source: BikeWatch, Indiegogo

View gallery - 12 images
3 comments
Edea Krammer
Trendy yet efficient! Two thumbs up! xoxo:D
Maelduin
Mm. But when passers-by ignore the alarm and the thief runs off with your ride, where's the GPS tracker?
Charles Bosse
@Maelduin if you (or they) make it, I would quite happily drop $200 US on it and epoxy it to the frame of my bike. It needs a USB chargeable non-removable battery though.