Home Back Issues May 2012 The bicycle thief

The bicycle thief

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Articles - May 2012
Monday, April 23, 2012

 

0512_Launch_Biketrak
Kristine Akins, CEO of BikeTrak
// Photo by Alexandra Shyshkina

When Kristine Akins had a second bike stolen in 2010, the veteran entrepreneur didn’t get mad. She got even. In 2011, she founded BikeTrak, a startup that is building GPS-powered security devices for bikes. Embedded in the bicycle, the unit will automatically alert riders and police when a bicycle is stolen, then pinpoint where the bike is at any given time. “It’s a complete system for thwarting bike theft,” says Akins. The system operates at the nexus of several cutting-edge technologies, including GPS, cellular chip and “machine-to-machine” communications. “There were significant challenges,” says Akins. Other technical hurdles include ensuring the unit isn’t on or activated when the bike is accidentally jostled or when the rider moves the bike, and embedding the device, with its three antennas, in the actual bike frame. Akins is testing a “Beta I” version of BikeTrak this month — the initial round of units will be built into the water cage — and hopes to release about 200 products this summer, just before the September Interbike trade show in Las Vegas. Akins has been working with Portland police on the device and says detectives “love the idea” of an automated system. Would-be vigilantes, take note. A notice on the BikeTrak web site likely will read: “Don’t go after the thief yourself.”

COMPANY:
BikeTrak
PRODUCT:
Bicycle security devices
CEO:
Kristine Akins
HEADQUARTERS:
Portland
LAUNCHED:
2011

MONEY TRAIL
Received $150,000 in convertible note funding. “We’re looking at getting $750,000 before launch,” says Akins. Named as a semi-finalist in Angel Oregon 2012. Two full-time employees, several part-time and contractor workers. Retail launch price is $299. “This is heavy-duty technology, but we hope to get prices down over time.”

BAROMETER PDX
“Bikes are so easy to steal,” says Akins. “If thieves think they might be tracked, they’ll probably think twice. Ninety percent of thieves are idiots. But we’re struggling a bit in terms of publicizing where the unit will be located on the bike.”
 

Comments   

 
Guest
0 #1 RE: The bicycle thiefGuest 2013-08-19 16:31:40
Interested in your product, have three bikes I would like install your product. I use a IOS MAC computer any problems with this device ?? The problem with some tracking devices is the range. The battery life and preferences are another. Can your product be used outside your current testing area ??
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