If you’re someone who likes cycling, but hates being away from their phone, you’ll appreciate the COBI. A module that’s placed on the handlebars, it lets you control your phone while moving along–for example, to answer calls or navigate Spotify.
But it’s more than that. The self-proclaimed “World’s Smartest Connected Biking System” is really a way to integrate a phone into your bike, establishing an operating system to manage fitness, monitor lights and signals, and more.
Developed in Germany, the COBI comes with a powerful LED front-light and a built-in battery that extends a phone’s normal life. Once you place a handset inside the housing and download the accompanying app, you can get all the things other bike computers offer, like turn-by-turn directions, “buddy radar” (locating nearby friends), and maps of upcoming roads.
There’s also a “thumb controller” unit that lets you tap out up to 10 instructions to your phone without taking your hands off the bike (it’s like the controls on a car steering wheel to shift the radio or activate cruise control).
The app also integrates with lights on the back of the bike. When you brake sharply, it illuminates, telling whoever is behind you to slow down. When you make a right or left turn, the indicator will light accordingly.
Finally, COBI also has an proximity and anti-theft protection system. Your bike will start working when you and your phone come within a certain distance; anyone else’s phone won’t have the same effect.
The COBI is available on Kickstarter, starting at $159 for an early bird special. Check out the campaign page here.