SoBi: The Social Bicycle System

Some time ago, we featured Denver's B-Cycle bikesharing program. Today, we are looking at an innovative twist on the traditional bikesharing model. SoBi, The Social Bicycle System, is a minimalist public bikesharing concept powered by mobile social technology.


The system uses a wireless device that attaches to the back of any bike, serving as a lock, GPS unit and bike computer all in one. Bikes can be locked to any regular public bike rack and a mobile app allows users to locate available bikes nearby.

SoBi offers a promising solution to two of bike-sharing's greatest obstacles: The dependency on fleets and rental stations, and the high cost of implementation. With no special bikes or rack needed, the SoBi system comes at roughly a third of the cost of traditional models and, with healthy adoption rates, has the potential of turning a city's entire bike population into a shared fleet.

A lock box design is currently being prototyped and will be pilot-tested in New York this fall.

Maria Popova is the editor of Brain Pickings, a curated inventory of miscellaneous interestingness. She writes for Wired UK, GOOD Magazine and Huffington Post, and spends a shameful amount of time on Twitter.

Being a father to a school-age girl makes men less sexist, study suggests

The findings are based on a phenomenon known as the "Mighty Girl Effect."

Pixabay
Culture & Religion
  • The study tracked the responses of more than 5,000 men over the course of a decade.
  • The results showed that men who lived with daughters were less likely to hold traditional views on gender relations and roles.
  • This effect seemed to be strongest as the daughters entered secondary-school age.
Keep reading Show less

Scientist's accidental discovery makes coral grow 40x faster

There might be hope for our oceans, thanks to one clumsy moment in a coral tank.

Photo by Preet Gor on Unsplash.
Surprising Science
  • David Vaughan at the Mote Laboratory is growing coral 40 times faster than in the wild.
  • It typically takes coral 25 to 75 years to reach sexual maturity. With a new coral fragmentation method, it takes just 3.
  • Scientists and conservationists plan to plant 100,000 pieces of coral around the Florida Reef Tract by 2019 and millions more around the world in the years to come.
Keep reading Show less

Technology will kill the 9-to-5 work week, says Richard Branson

The billionaire entrepreneur predicts the rise of technology will soon force society to rethink the modern work week.

(Photo by Rob Kim/Getty Images)
Technology & Innovation
  • Branson made the argument in a recent blog post published on the Virgin website.
  • The 40-hour work week stems from labor laws created in the early 20th century, and many have said this model is becoming increasingly obsolete.
  • The average American currently works 47 hours per week, on average.
Keep reading Show less