An evergreen topic of discussion for every bicycle owner will be protection against theft. One solution already exists – securing your bike with about 2 or 3 locks and leaving it within sight, but this method kind of cancels the advantages of a bike, doesn’t it? A bicycle should be practical, right? So here’s where theft prevention systems come in, and one such gizmo is Waldo.
First thing’s first. Who’s Waldo and how does it work? On short, you have in front of you a device mounted on the bike and connected to your smartphone. Once turned on, the specific app lets you know if the bicycle is subject to moves that typically occur when a theft is under way. This is done thanks to a motion sensor that’s integrated in the part that’s mounted on the bike, and this unit also includes a GPS function, as well as a noise emitting device that is triggered when the thief “operates” on your bike. A more detailed explanation can be seen in the video below.
Now, let’s meet the guys behind Waldo. They are 3 IT and electronics graduates from Romania: Radu Tutueanu, Vlad Georgescu and Narcis Mihai, which are all frequent bicycle users, that, as they themselves say, got tired of wondering if they’ll find their bicycles where they left them.
The product is currently in development, one prototype existing however. Work started in July this year, and for the moment improvements for both the bicycle-mounted unit and the mobile app are the main focus. Probably, Waldo will feature in the spring of 2015 on a crowdfunding platform, and if all things work out as planned, by the end of next summer the device will be shipping at least throught all of Europe.
Still there remains one question: other such devices are already available, or will soon be, so what’s so special about Waldo? Narcis sheds some light in this direction: ”One problem that we noticed with other systems is that the mounted unit is easy to remove, thus rendering the GPS function useless. We came up with a solution that makes the device very hard to unmount, being placed in a hardcase situated in the area of the water bottle cage. This way, Waldo’s unit will also be protected against other possible hits. As for the main ideas behind Waldo, they are prevention and retrieval. The first one stands in the shape of a noisy alarm that alerts people passing by, while the other is useful for tracking down the bike and getting it back from the thief. This combination of approaches will ensure, in our opinion, the success of Waldo. Also, we believe that having a hard-to-remove unit and Internet connectivity instead of a range-limited Bluetooth one, are other two features that add value. We also plan on selling it for a price between 120 and 150 euros”.
You can read more about Waldo and stay up to date with news regarding it by visiting its official website.