The sharing economy took a turn toward the two-wheeled here at CES on Thursday when Lattis, "the smart city company," introduced its Ellipse Smart Bike Lock. As its name implies, the Ellipse packs as many IoT features as it can into its solar-powered frame. That includes an accelerometer to monitor for sudden stops (i.e., you crash or get hit by a car) and Bluetooth connectivity for remote unlocking and pushing theft-attempt alerts to your smartphone.
Pairing the Ellipse to your phone enables it to send out location alerts to your contacts should the lock register a crash. It will also send an alert to the user if someone tries to cut the lock and steal your ride. What's more, this connectivity enables users to share access to their bike with anyone they want using virtual keys -- similar to how many home smart locks work. Additionally, the Ellipse has a Find My Bike feature for those times when you can't remember where you parked it.
The lock itself offers "military grade" construction and a small solar panel to keep its battery charged throughout the day. According to Lattis, the lock needs just an hour of sunlight to keep it going for a full week, and a 12-hour charge is enough to keep it powered for a month. And if you ride primarily at night, the lock can be charged through its micro-USB port.
Lattis also announced it is launching its own bike-share program to enable organizations to share bikes among their members without the need for bulky and expensive hubs like what we see with Citi Bike or Bay Area Bike Share. The Ellipse lock is available now for $200 on the company's website. The sharing program, meanwhile, is expected to roll out at some point in the first half of the year.
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