Wednesday, April 01, 2009


I finally have a reason to buy a cell phone—an Apple iPhone, of course, since, once again, Steve Jobs, in his infinite wisdom, has created a platform upon which to serve up all sorts of delicacies that even resistant consumers like me can’t resist.

I speak, of course, about today’s newly announced iPhone app, iShift, which, in conjunction with Shimano’s new Di2 electronic shifting system, allows a rider to seamlessly change gears on his bicycle, directly from the iPhone, via touchscreen, voice, or even remote access.

In the case of touchscreen, a scrollable menu of gear choices appears right on the iPhone display, and you simply tap the gear you’d like to shift into; tapping once shifts down, tapping twice, up; or you can scroll through your gears with a mere brush of the fingertip.

The voice-activated shifting is even cooler; you just dial the IP address of your derailer and tell it which gear you’d like to change to; currently, a graphic of your cogset is displayed on the iPhone; future versions promise to use the device’s built-in camera for realtime display.

In my test, it worked perfectly, except when I received another call; at this point, apparently, my derailer automatically withdrew $300 from my bank account and wired it directly to Jobs’ Paypal account; developers assure me that this is just a bug in the beta version of the software and that, at the very least, all components will have a $100 limit on any purchases they make.

The remote access feature may have the coolest upside potential. While I was riding along, developers, accessing another iPhone app, iMonitor, that records my heartbeat and skin temperature, were able to shift gears for me, before I even knew I needed to.

At first, it was disconcerting to feel like a character in someone’s video game, but I eventually got used to it, and had my derailer send another $300 to Steve Jobs for the privilege.


Blogger Eric Thrasher Troili.. said...

No Fooling..!

9:14 PM  
Blogger mork the delayer said...

It would be more advantageous if you could shift other people's derailers.

9:25 AM  

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