Singapore

Finding Mobike bicycles is about to get easier

Users of Mobike bicycles may be able to locate the firm's orange two-wheelers with greater ease, thanks to a tie-up between the Chinese firm and telco Singtel.

The two firms yesterday signed an agreement that will see them team up to explore the use of new Internet of Things (IoT) technology.

The technology refers to a network that connects devices such as vehicles and home appliances, allowing them to share data and communicate.

This will allow bicycles to be more readily found in areas such as void decks of Housing Board blocks, where Global Positioning System (GPS) technology may not be able to easily locate them, said Mobike co-founder and chief technology officer Joe Xia.

Mobike country manager Sharon Meng said the firm would also be open to partnering Singtel on the use of technology such as beacons - hardware which can enhance the accuracy of geofencing - to prevent indiscriminate parking.

Geofencing taps GPS or radio frequency identification technology to create a virtual geographic boundary, enabling software to trigger a response when a mobile device enters or leaves a particular area.

Ms Meng said Mobike is working with the Land Transport Authority on the implementation of beacons here.

A trial of such IoT technology is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year, said Mr Arthur Lang, chief executive officer of Singtel's international group.

He added that the use of IoT will help further Singapore's Smart Nation ambitions.

"A smart city works only if devices can talk to one another," he said, adding that this would help enhance consumer experience.

Mr Lang added that Singtel would also be able to tap the 30TB of big data generated daily by the 200 million Mobike riders worldwide to better cater to customers.

The partnership between the two companies will also allow Mobike users to pay for trips using Singtel's mobile wallet app Dash, or through their monthly phone bills.

Transport