SoBi: social bike sharing system

In April, I have issued here a bike sharing system that was being developed. It was a very good idea, but now there emerged an idea that is even better: SoBi, The Social Bicycle System.

SoBi is different than the others because it integrates technology and bike sharing. After you register to the SoBi network you can see,where the available bikes are, from your iPhone or Android. Then you go to the bike and unlock the badge with your phone, which sends the signal to the system that you have the bike and the GPS device on the bike shows where you go and how long you use the bike. When you are done with the bike, you lock it with your phone and the system shows that bike as available to the other users on the system.

Here is the explanation at their website:

SoBi will be the first public bike share system with the authorization, tracking, and security systems attached to the bicycle itself. SoBi uses GPS, mobile communications, and a secure lock that can attach to almost any bicycle and lock to any regular bike rack. The system does not require separate infrastructure and can be deployed at approximately one-third the cost of existing systems. Administrators will be given powerful tools to manage demand and map patterns of use. Users will enjoy door-to-door transportation and an interactive cycling experience that can track miles traveled, calories burned, CO2 emissions offset, and connections to other Social Cyclists.

They are attending the Pepsi Refresh Project contest and they can win 50K with your votes. The system will be tested in NYC in autumn and then may be developed for other cities and countries around the world. This looks like it would be a great opportunity to bring something that combines web 2.0 and the real life experience.

I have already written about the culture of sharing and that web 2.0 will bring about the idea of share 2.0. Share 2.0 is the idea that you provide a product or service, that you wouldn’t have to serve each person another set, but something that can be shared by the maximum number of people.

SoBi fully corresponds to my idea of share 2.0. And I hope it wins 50K to improve their system. It’s unfortunate for us that we will never be able to experience this in Istanbul… The bikes would get lost in a few hours–never to be seen ever again.

street art: istanbul, tunel