New BMX sensor technology set to shake up the extreme sports industry

The team at Portuguese startup Coppr have created the world’s first BMX sensor and are in a position to take the device to market. Rui Sousa Campos, owner of Coppr and the guy with the vision behind Iddo, met with Follow Innovation to tell us about the development of this exciting product and to share his ideas for the future.

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“I have spent a lot of time in skateparks, since I was a young boy, watching what other people are doing on their bikes. More recently, I’ve seen that people are using their smartphones to listen to music while they ride, which is impacting the social element of BMX. When I was younger we all used to ride, talk and fall together, now many people ride alone. I wanted to create something cool and use technology to give people the opportunity to engage with each other over their shared passion for the sport. This is where the idea for Iddo came from, back in March 2014,” Rui told Follow Innovation.

The Iddo sensor clips directly on to any BMX bike and allows you to track exactly where you have cycled and how fast you have travelled. The really cool feature that sets Iddo apart from other technologies is that the device is able to accurately recognise the tricks you have completed whilst riding, before awarding you with points based on the complexity of the tricks landed. Using the Iddo smartphone app, you are then able to share your achievements with others and challenge them to compete directly with your top scores.

“When you do an amazing trick either someone has recorded it or it is going to be missed. With Iddo, your memories are always saved. Your tricks are also shared with other riders in the area, which is really exciting because it helps to connect people of similar ability so they can find each other, hang out and push each other to step up their game,” Rui told us.

The Iddo team work with their own BMX crew, currently aged 14-23, to test each iteration of the product and gather suggestions on what could be developed next. Whilst testing the initial freestyle prototype in late 2014, the opportunity to use the Iddo technology for racing and professional BMX was identified.

“We realised that we could record race data and create ghost racers within the app for users to race against themselves or share as challenges with friends. We use voice prompts to give riders real-time feedback on how they are performing in the race compared with previous attempts, which creates a very cool experience for professional BMXers,” said Rui.

As well as monitoring your performance, the Iddo sensor records the conditions in which you are riding. An ambient light sensor is used to detect if you are on your bike at day or night, inside or outside, and a temperature and humidity sensor notes if you were riding in harsh weather conditions, which may have affected your ability to achieve a personal best. Having this information is extremely useful for training and coaching.

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Rui has shortlisted 30 other sports that the Iddo technology could work with in the future, including: mountain biking, motocross, skiing and surfing. “We want to be the next big thing, not just for BMX but for extreme sports. We are creating technology for people who want to take sport to the next level,” said Rui, “We are currently testing Iddo on drift trikes as the trike guys love to capture and share their drift times when racing with each other.”

It is possible to connect up to 4 more sensors to the Iddo device, on top of the connection to your smartphone. “Using multiple sensors will allow us to record more complicated tricks. For example, we could create a sensor that fits to the handlebar of your bike. Connecting this to the original Iddo sensor would give us the opportunity to recognise a rider pulling a 360 while doing a barspin,” explained Rui.

“Imagine if Iddo was linked to something like a GoPro camera. Iddo would be able to identify exactly when you have thrown a trick, achieved a record speed or hit your biggest air. The device could then signal to your camera to mark the video for editing later, so that you can jump straight to that section once at your computer screen. Ideas for future integration like this, which make life easier for people, are very cool and help to show the potential of our Iddo technology,” said Rui.

The Iddo team have recently joined the Microsoft Ventures Accelerator in the UK, bringing their BMXs, machines and what they’ve developed so far with them to London. They are currently seeking funding of EUR 40000 which will allow them to produce the first 250 Iddo units. If you are interested in supporting the team and getting your hands of one of the first devices, please visit their Indiegogo crowdfunding page here.