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Electric replacement front wheel turns any bike into an e-bike

Max Lippe, an experienced Trans-America cyclist, is to ride from New York to the Consumer Electronic's Show (CES) in Las Vegas to prove the viability of an Electron Wheel controlled by Google Assistant.

The Gen 2 Electron Wheel is a replacement for your front wheel and converts a normal bike into an e-bike.

Tech Crunch reports that the publicity stunt will see the wheel teamed with Google Assistant as part of a big push for the latter at CES.

Electron vice president James Parker said: “As we have worked with Google to integrate Assistant, it’s really made us excited about how to make the user experience as simple as possible and how voice technology can be integrated while riding. There’s all of this nice command technology in cars. We think there’s so much opportunity to use that technology while riding a bike.”

By default, the Electron Wheel uses an incline sensor to detect when you’re going uphill, at which point it kicks in. You can customise the assist level through its app, but the idea here is that Lippe will simply tell his wheel what to do.

“Okay Google, start bike ride,” gets it up and running. Lippe will also be able to change the level of assistance, find out the wheel’s battery level and have it read out stats as he’s riding around.

The 2,800-mile ride will take him 10 days, each of which will involve 17 hours of riding. Unfortunately, the wheel can currently only manage 50 miles on a charge, meaning regular swaps. A van will therefore follow Lippe, carrying and charging six more wheels.

Lippe sets off tomorrow. There’s the obligatory live tracker on the Ride to CES website.

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