Dutch-based (of course) design agency, Springtime. The concept has actually been floating around since 2005 in The Netherlands but it recently won the Spark Design & Architecture Award causing the world to take notice. The idea here is to offer these RFID-tagged bikes to riders in cities supporting bike rental or bike exchange programs. The garages then, would be conveniently scattered around places like train stations and tourist hot-spots to automagically dispense your new ride. This automated system has completed a pilot and is now being worked into the national OV-fiets (public transport bicycle) service in Holland which rents a bicycle for € 2.75 ($3.71) per 20 hours. Unfortunately, the Bike Dispenser relies upon a uniform bicycle design leaving it helpless to relieve the crushing mass of "parked" bicycles seen in Amsterdam and like-minded cities across Europe and Asia. Still, as a quick and dirty, eco-transport solution in-a-box, what's not to like?
[Via Core77 Design Blog]