The BikeSpike: Chicago entrepreneurs create bike theft tracker - Chicago News and Weather | FOX 32 News

BikeSpike: Chicago entrepreneurs create bike theft tracker

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

For the right price, you can spike your bike. A Chicago start-up is in the running to win funding for a device that sends an email, post, text or tweet the moment your bike is touched.

Clay Neigher is the brains behind BikeSpike. He showed FOX 32's Tisha Lewis the proto-type device that recovers, tracks and connects your bike to your Facebook and other social media sites while you're gone.

It even calls emergency contacts if you crash.

"We wanted to make sure it was something that was easy to install and tough to remove," said Neigher, Founder of BikeSpike.

"What we have on board is an accelerometer that detects motion, we have a GPS chip which detects location but in order to get all that information to you in a timely manner before it's too late, there's also a cellular network," he adds, showing off the invention.

The gadget uses the same technology that allows games to function on smart phones. The palm-sized black device is the brainchild of the Lincoln Park resident who turned to his personal experience for inspiration.

"I woke up in the middle of the night, while I was living in Boston, to the sound of a saw and my bike was basically connected to the porch and I thought nothing of it at 3am, what a saw, a hand saw? The next day my porch was gone along with my bike," said Neigher.

Fox 32's Tisha Lewis reports the device is designed to work even if your bike is bumped though Bike Spike focuses on stolen bikes. In Chicago there are reportedly more than 90% of stolen bikes that are never recovered. Bike Spike's founder says this device is designed to do the detective work for you.

"Law enforcement has been really supportive, they really want to see us succeed and they think this is an excellent step in recovering bikes. There's nothing they can use right now that's a truly interactive tool where you can see a bike moving on a map," said Neigher.

Thanks to a promotional video, the Chicago start-up beat out others for the chance to have the concept fully funded by Kickstarter.

There was mixed reaction from some who rely on biking for their livelihood.

"I've had this bike for 17 years and it's never been touched, don't need it," said Steve Waters, a bike messenger.

"It would be interesting to have. In this occupation your bike is your livelihood and if you can hold on to it, it would be great," said another bike messenger who did not want to be identified.

If Neigher and his team are able to raise $150,000 in pledges by next Tuesday, April 9th, Kickstarter will fund BikeSpike, from concept to completion.

For more information on how the device works and how you can donate to the project, click here.

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