The heart of O-Synce’s electronics products is actually in the development of the systems and software that make them work seamlessly together with other micro electronics, wireless sensors, and third party devices. Their most prominent product at Eurobike didn’t even get their branding. As they’ve been designing and producing the electronic remotes for Magura’s eLect wireless suspension for years, it was no surprise to see a O-Synce remote controlling the new wireless dropper post. So even though a lot of what they had to show at Eurobike was more unseen, they surely seem like a good indicator of where the industry is headed.
Plus they’ve put out some interesting products themselves (even if at times it is just as a proof-of-concept) like a simple cyclo-computer bridge that pulls key data streams out for a simple display, a tiny heads-up display that is mostly ready for a running now, or even some modular solar powered bags that were designed to stay on top of technology development. Jump past the break with us for a look at what jumped out at us…
With more and more bike components getting batteries and transmitting information, it’s somewhat reassuring to see a company like O-Synce (and Momes, the actual design connectivity company behind the curtain) that is focusing so much on developing interfaces to make all of these devices communicate with each other in a way that is productive, but not overly intrusive. They’ve done a lot of work to help develop Bluetooth and ANT+ communication standards and to tailor software and hardware that can collect all of the data beaming around from your bike and turn it into something simple and usable.
One of their premier products is their 80€ CoachSmart computer paired with their free app, which acts as an ANT+ and Bluetooth bridge to collect data from all the regular sources, plus things like Di2 shift position, e-bike motors and battery status, and now suspension performance, and even seatpost position and transfer it to a single data collection device like a smartphone. Then while all that data is being collected for later detailed analysis, the small head unit the size of a traditional (pre-GPS) cyclocomputer will display simple data like current speed and shift position (as above) or power and heartrate. Basically through their customization process whatever is the most important data can be picked out, and tailored for individual companies or applications.
While O-Synce develops the hardware and software, they are really an ideas company and not a product company. Products like this then get licensed to other companies, like 3T selling the computer as the 3T Eye, as they can mine their sales and distribution networks to get it into the hands of cyclists while O-Synce/Momes go back to the drawing board for their next project.
One thing that O-Synce CEO Dirk Sandrock was really interested in, was their development of the 100€ ScreenEye training visor and its Data4Vision tech concept. Again like the mini computer, this heads-up display collects data from ANT+ sensors, stores it for later use and displays a pared down highlight of important data for training right in your field of vision. While this hat and an open visor are specialized for running, the technology has great potential in the cycling market when it can be added onto a helmet. To add in another unique feature, the display is actually illuminated by that transparent greenish triangle film in the visor, that collects ambient light and directs it to the display, ensuring high contrast visibility that automatically increases the brightness in bright conditions without requiring additional power. And in dark conditions less display brightness is provided automatically.
Another product developed along the same integrated tech mantra is a series of solar powered bags, split off into the now independent O-Range company. While we have seen and had fun with solar powered bike gear in the past, it is plagued by tech that advances faster than it can be produced, so O-Range take a very modular approach. Their newest series of bags takes a kit of parts to end up with a finished product: bag style + strap type + internal divisions + solar panel size. The options include fully welded seam small and medium-sized backpacks, shoulder bags, and even simple envelope style bags that can be strapped to panniers or onto larger backpacks and then have the latest generation of solar panels snapped on for the best performance. The small 5W blue and red envelope-style pouch sells for 130€, while the larger 10W black pouch goes for 185€.
The current O-Range solar panels put out 5W, 10W, and 12W of peak power with a simple 5V USB connector inside the waterproof bags that can charge phones and even tablets or can store power in optional battery packs as well. With so much more electronics on bikes every year, it’s pretty cool to have the option to power up on the go. And even better to know that when your 5W solar panel is out of date, it’s just a couple strips of velcro and a few snaps before it gets replaced with the latest and greatest photovoltaic tech.