If you’ve been reading my e-bike content here on InsideEVs, then you know full well that the technology surrounding electric bicycles is advancing at a rapid pace. As more and more tech gets thrown into e-bikes, it’s becoming more and more difficult to distinguish them from IoT devices. As such, a lot of today’s e-bikes can simply be described as intelligent mobility solutions.
Now, if you’re thinking that it’s only new companies that are introducing cutting edge tech to the e-bike market, think again. US-based bike component giant Sram recently filed patents about a fancy new piece of tech that could change the way we interact with our bicycles. If up until now we’ve changed gears with either a trigger shifter, grip shifter, or some type of switch, Sram just might change this into hand gestures or even voice commands.
Indeed, controlling devices through hand gestures and voice commands has been around for several years now. We use virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa almost everyday, and most of our cars have features that can be activated by both gesture and voice. Why shouldn’t the same be applied to bikes, right? Who’s to say that saying “Sram, shift up a gear” won’t become a normal thing in the future of cycling?
All that being said, the development of automatic transmissions such as those from Enviolo could very well make the whole shift-by-voice thing irrelevant. Nevertheless, voice commands could also find use in high-end e-bikes with multiple ride modes. Perhaps you could command your bike to switch from one mode to another, or maybe even adjust suspension settings on the fly. After all, we previously reported that Sram had intentions of dabbling in the e-bike market with a recent acquisition of Amprio. Not to mention, premium bicycle suspension specialist RockShox is a brand under the Sram umbrella.
Interestingly, the proposed design of Sram’s gesture control features a glove with a bunch of sensors attached to the fingers. While the likelihood of some sort of shift-by-gesture technology seems rather far fetched, it’s been speculated that the special gloves could be used to control e-bike displays, as well as toggling through various settings while on the go.
It’s important to note that everything we’re talking about here pertaining to Sram’s new designs are purely speculation. If there’s one thing we can conclusively arrive at, it’s that Sram is more than likely to release something big when it comes to bicycle tech in the near future.