Panasonic Cycle Technology has partnered with Beijing Mobike Technology to jointly develop the next-generation internet-connected e-bikes.
An announcement released this week by Panasonic said the agreement was sealed as the two companies see the opportunity to provide high value-added products and services to existing e-bike customers.
Panasonic Cycle Technology, a division of Panasonic Corporation specializing in bicycles and accessories, has been in the bicycle business for 66 years. It introduced its first e-bike in 1996.
Chinese bike sharing service provider Beijing Mobike Technology, on the other hand, was founded only in 2015 but has since cornered a large share of the bike sharing market in Asia, Europe, and the US.
Currently, Mobike operates in over 200 cities and 19 countries around the world, including China. Typical of a high-flying startup, the company has raised nearly US$1 billion as of June 2017, with the latest round raising US$600 million in Series E funding led by Tencent.
The Chinese web company Meituan-Dianping acquired Mobike for US$2.7 billion in April 2018.
According to Panasonic’s news release, internet-connected IoT e-bikes currently allow users to unlock them by using their smartphones, record riding data, and using GPS could have security, traceability and control features.
Future developments include many possibilities. Research firm Gartner in its recent prediction of the top technology trends for IoT named sensor innovation as among those that will evolve continuously through 2023.
“New sensors will enable a wider range of situations and events to be detected, current sensors will fall in price to become more affordable or will be packaged in new ways to support new applications, and new algorithms will emerge to deduce more information from current sensor technologies,” it said.
Gartner also predicts new IOT user experiences (UX) to emerge as a broader range of technologies and design come into play. Aside from new sensors, factors that will drive this expected shift in UX include new algorithms, new experience architectures and context, and socially aware experiences.
Panasonic itself said that they are eyeing to offer more products that meet user needs.