Notice anything strange about the bike in the picture? The bright red hub isn't exactly subtle, but it does hide some impressive tech. Called the Copenhagen Wheel, this is a device developed by the SENSEable City Lab at MIT that basically can turn a normal bike into a connected electric bicycle simply by replacing your standard rear wheel with this one. The Wheel then adds regenerative braking, batteries, general packet radio service (GPRS), and a motor to your ride. There are also sensors to determine the air quality and noise levels and more. The bike can relay this information to the cloud through a smart phone's Bluetooth connection. That connection can also be used to lock up the bike and trigger acceleration. The developers plan to make the exact components in the hub modifiable in the future, so riders in San Francisco, for example, could add more batteries to tackle the hills.
The Copenhagen Wheel was unveiled in Denmark during the COP15 United Nations Climate Conference. There's a video of the Wheel in action after the jump. It's a cool concept, and we'd take one now, thank you. Thanks to Matt and Roy B. for the tips!