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Thanks for the memories  July 26, 2012

Levitating bike powers your phone, creates Wi-Fi hotspot

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CNET Editor

Michelle Starr is the tiger force at the core of all things. She also writes about cool stuff and apps as CNET Australia's Crave editor. But mostly the tiger force thing.

(Credit: Dezien)

A futuristic bicycle concept doesn't just get you to where you're going.

When you pedal a bicycle, the kinetic energy is channelled into propulsion — but what if it could be used in other ways? Architect Michael Strain isn't the first to think of using pedal power to charge your gadgets — in fact, there are products on the market that already allow you to harness that excess energy — but his concept bike, designed for the 2013 HI-MACS Annual Design Contest, has a few other tricks up its suspension.

Called Levitation, the bike, which looks like a more low-tech Tron Cycle, features an on-board generator and battery that stores the power collected while cycling. This can then be used in two ways: charging small gadgets via the USB port on the bike's handlebars, or sending it into your home's power supply via a drain cable to alleviate grid usage.

After checking out Levitation's on-board electronics, though, we're not entirely sure that there would be much left over after taking the bike for a spin. It not only features a touchscreen LED display between the handlebars, it's also equipped with a mobile Wi-Fi hotspot that delivers unlimited access.

And then there's the reason for its name. Levitation uses a combination of magnetic levitation and kinetic energy to lift itself off the ground ever so slightly to reduce resistance and the impact from riding on uneven ground. Since the bike itself is designed to be built out of Hi-Macs, an easy-to-fabricate non-porous material, we imagine there would be quite a few of those, especially since there appears to be no suspension for the saddle. Ouch.


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