I do have some reservations about the technology, though. In the Deeplocal video, one of the designers talks about integrating the technology into the mainstream. Actually, the designer is Bob Parlee, owner of Parlee Cycles and one of the bike industry’s most well-known and respected innovators. Parlee Cycles makes some serious, expensive carbon fiber race bikes.
I know Toyota, Deeplocal and Parlee only did this project as a lark and it’s really cool and I shouldn’t criticize, but I kind of can’t help it in this case. I’m hesitant about the viability of the technology in the mainstream.
First off, having to lug a computer along with you is a major red flag. Bike companies spend millions on research and development to get their bikes and parts and clothes as light as possible. The more weight on you and your bike, the more you have to drag up the climbs. So taking along anything bigger than a cell phone would be ridiculous.
But secondly, and more importantly, I just don’t see a need for this technology—at least not on bikes; I’m sure there’s an infinite number of uses for it elsewhere. I could be wrong and it could easily end up on all race bikes in five years, but I just don’t see it.
And here’s why…because I don’t need to think about shifting gears while I’m riding. I swear my hands just do it before I give it any conscious thought. It’s like typing—it just happens.
So, in the end I guess I’m all for tapping into the electrical signals in our brains to help run gadgets, but I think the system in place now—brain to hand—is a pretty good one. It’s lightning quick, much quicker than thoughts in fact.
At least for bikes, I think it’ll be some time before a neuro-headset, PC and electronic gear shifters can compete. Although I’m sure they will eventually.