Bosch has announced that it plans to acquire COBI, a German company that's been at the forefront of integrating smartphones into e-bike systems.
COBI was founded in 2014, and its app and hardware allows smartphone users to use their device as the control unit for their bike. It also allows connection to other apps such as Strava, Komoot, Spotify and Apple Health, as well as Bluetooth fitness sensors. The COBI mount allows you to charge your phone on the go from the e-bike's battery, and also connect to a remote control and lighting.
It looks to be a pretty happy marriage, with one partner bringing expertise and the other plenty of market share. "The acquisition of COBI GmbH provides the ideal opportunity to expand the product portfolio of Bosch eBike Systems in the area of connected products and services. COBI offers the necessary expertise and experience, as well as the appropriate technologies for a successful partnership," says Claus Fleischer, CEO of Bosch eBike Systems. CEO of COBI, Andreas Gahlert, was equally gushing: "With Bosch as a strategic partner, we see huge scope for worldwide growth in the area of digitally connected products and services in the bike environment. For us, this is undoubtedly a significant step into the future".
There's no public timescale for a COBI-connected Bosch system as yet, but we'd be surprised if we weren't at least seeing demo systems by the time the show season comes round next year.