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Italian startup uses IoT network to improve bicycle security

Turin-based Sherlock, a bike security startup, is connecting its GPS anti-theft units to Orange Business Services’ worldwide IoT network

Sherlock, a Turin-based developer of internet of things (IoT) enabled security products for bicycles, has signed a three-year deal with Orange Business Services to support its worldwide business with connectivity and management.

Sherlock’s after-market solution incorporates a small device that is designed to be hidden in the handlebars of a bicycle and a mobile application for service management. The device incorporates a GPS module for tracking, and a GPRS module for internet connectivity and low-energy Bluetooth that will use Orange’s embedded SIM cards.

“The idea of Sherlock was born after experiencing bike theft first-hand. Sherlock establishes a direct connection between the bicycle and its owner, giving the bicycle a voice to shout for help,” said Pierluigi Freni, CEO at Sherlock, which has received support from local incubator i3P and UK-based SETsquared, as well as satellite supplier Viasat.

“Orange Business Services will help us provide cyclists with the peace of mind they deserve thanks to its robust, reliable connectivity, which is available seamlessly worldwide,” he added.

The solution is supposed to work as a unique identifier for a bicycle through a “bike passport” – a digital document designed with the support of Turin’s police force – and adds an extra layer of security as it is virtually impossible for a thief to find.

If activated via Bluetooth, the bike owner will receive real-time notifications on their smartphone if their bike is moved or tampered with, and should it be taken track its location – this information can also be shared with police using a temporary tracking code.

The addition of Orange’s SIM cards will enable the product to work out-of-the-box anywhere in the world using international roaming capabilities, said Sherlock.

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“In recent years, cycling has boomed in popularity, and this has led to growth in the premium bike market. Cars have had anti-theft devices for many years, but until now, the bike industry was lagging behind,” said Orange Business Services European senior vice-president Fabrice de Windt.

“With Sherlock, cyclists no longer need to worry about having an expensive bike stolen. The Orange collaboration with Sherlock proves how digital transformation can be a disruptive force, creating new services that respond to people’s changing needs and expectations.”

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