Funding for this project was canceled by the project creator on January 26, 2013.
About this project
BTPS! will be the first Tire-Pressure-Sensor on the market specially designed for bicycles and E-bikes. It is a very small and robust, battery driven device which fits directly into your bike tire. It communicates wirelessly with your Smart Phone, Smart Watch or your Bike Computer. Currently no product on the market provides the opportunity to measure the bike tire pressure in real-time and with this high level of comfort. Check-out news on www.ibtps.com
Thank's to your support we got featured in many, many blogs, newsletters, ... Keep on spreading the word to make this product successful!-------------------
- increased safety: today, all new passenger cars have to have an installed tire pressure monitoring system to warn drivers when the tire pressure is below (or above) a defined pressure limit. These systems do not work on bicycles and e-bikes. BTPS! will close this gap.
- higher mileage range and longer battery life-time: let's assume you are not aware that the tire pressure on your e-bike droped to 3 bar (45 PSI) instead of 4 bar (60 PSI). This missing one bar will reduce the mileage range more than 30%. With BTPS! you will be warned if the tire pressure is below limit. Therefore it is easy for you to achieve higher mileage and a less frequent recharging of the expensive Li-battery.
- less risk of damaged tires: BTPS! will help you to increase tire life time to a maximum. No more damaged sidewalls or snake-bites due to a tire pressure which dropped accidently low.
- additional training data: typically during your training session you record heart rate, speed, eventually cadence and power? Did you never wonder why you need more power to keep speed compared to the last training session? Never wondered about how fast the tire pressure drops during a 6 hours training session? With BTPS! you can monitor the pressure of the bike tires during training.
Features at a glance
- measures the tire pressure in real time
- bluetooth low energy (BT4.0) or ANT+ compatible
- transmits and displays the tire pressure on your smart device
- pressure range from zero to 12 bar / 174 psi
- > 2yrs of battery life time
- more than 20'000 hrs of standby time (not riding); more than 200 hrs of operation time (riding)
- available for all rim diameters
BTPS! uses the bluetooth low energy (BTLE or BT4.0) and the ANT+ wireless protocol. There are many devices like Smart Phones, Smart Watches and Bike Computers from popular brands, which are using this protocol to interface with different kind of sensors like heart rate, speed, cadence and power.
The below listed devices are our favorites where we either have shown that they work with BTPS! or where we are in contact with the manufacturer to get BTPS! integrated in one of the next firmware releases:
- iPhone 3 / 4 (only with ANT+ fisica sensor interface)
- iPhone 4s / 5
- Sony Ericcson XPeria / arc
- Samsung Galaxy S3
- HTC One (S, X, XI), HTC one, HTC one s, HTC Desire C, Desire V, Desire X
- LG Electronics optimus 4x HD
- Motorola RAZR MAXX
- Alcatel one touch
The below listed bike computers have a built in ANT+ communication interface. But in order to interface with the BTPS! a firmware update is required. We are in close contact with the manufacturers to get this done as soon as possible:
- Garmin Edge 800 / 500
- VDO GP7
- Bryton 50 / 40 / 35 / 21 / 20 / 20+
are new and pretty cool! The below listed Smart Watches offer a bluetooth 4.0 interface and have an open platform to connect to BTPS! There is a clear market trend indicating that the number of smart watches on the market will skyrocket. We will be a part of this and will implement the BTPS!
- Pebble watch - today only for development; the watch is not available on the market, yet
- I'm watch - available on the market (firmware open-source but not distributed yet)
- MetaWatch (BTPS! is implemented)
- Stratos Watch
We have already committed in designing the solution and making the working prototypes. These prototypes have demonstrated all of the critical functions i.e. durability, simplicity of installation, highest accuracy, fast pressure reading, RF communication with ANT+ and Bluetooth 4.0, lowest power consumption, working apps for iPhone, Android and smart-watches. Your funding will help us to make more systems in order to verify the final design and also to order the tooling for the housing as well as a larger series of circuit boards and electronic components. Your funds will also be used to add further functionalities to our Apps like a tire database with predefined pressure limits for specific tires, user warning and alarm level setting, etc. You are very welcome to send us your suggestions.
Our Special: BTPS! for Tube Tires
We are fully aware that the actual version of BTPS! only appeals to those who have or plan to have tube-less tires on their bikes or pedelecs. All others use tire-tubes and need a solution for those. Here it is: the BTPS! "Sensor-Patch" - it consists of a tire-tube with mounted sensor patch to which a controller unit with microcontroller, radio frequency communication and battery is attached.
We pre-assemble the sensor patch on a high quality tire tube. The controller unit is connected to the sensor patch. The tube is then simply mounted on the rim as a normal tire-tube. All performance specifications are the same as for the above described BTPS!: real-time measurement, ANT+/BT4.0 compatible, communication to smart devices, etc.
We do have first pre-prototypes running and the results are very promising. We do need to invest more work on the sensor patch in order to engineer a optimal solution. As material scientist, Chris is the guy to go for this and has many options in mind how this could be done. We would like to share our excitement about that product idea with you and offer some beta-testing systems (see corresponding pledge). If these go away, we definitively will get a boost to drive this solution further.
chris@iBTPS.com - the inventor. He wants his invention to be used by everyone. Chris holds a MS in Physics and a PhD in material science from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and moved to San Diego for his post-doc. In his other life, he works in the field of MEMS, smart micro sensors and medical device development. He has a track record of almost 20 years of successful product development. His products won several awards.
andre@iBTPS.com - the electronics guy. There is no electronic circuit on earth he is not capable to make it work. Andre holds a MS in electronic engineering and spends most nights and weekends on having great ideas in electronics. His track record in electronic circuitry and wireless communication product development for industries like aeronautics and medical covers more than 20 years.
Step 1a: Injection molding: It will take about 6 weeks to get the tooling and first injection molded BTPS! housings from our supplier.
Step 1b: Electronics and microcontroller firmware: We will need 3 to 4 weeks to have a first series of fully assembled printed circuit boards ready. While waiting for the final circuit boards from our supplier we will update the firmware in order to make it robust and ready for the product launch. Step 1b runs in parallel to Step 1a.
Step 1c: Apps for smart devices: We will make a new version of all Apps and implement features we have already in mind. Step 1c is done by our partner and runs in parallel to Step 1a and 1c.
Step 2: Testing of fully assembled device: The devices which will come out of Step 1 will be fully tested following a detailed verification plan. We will share this plan with you in order to make sure we have covered all. This step is very important and will ensure the design is sound and the specifications are fully met. If everything works as expected we can go for the production run. We plan 3 weeks for Step 2.
Step 3: Shipping of fully tested device: Assembly, final testing and shipment of the BTPS! will take about 2 weeks and shipping will start beginning May - in time for the bike-season 2013
Risks and challenges
Our goal is to build a robust and user friendly product which is in your mailbox at the date promised. The challenges associated with this kind of product development are manifold. Below we list the challenges we believe are the most demanding, and our strategy to address them:
We have run about 10 prototype systems for the whole season 2012 in race-bikes, MTBs and Pedelcs. We never experienced hardware failures; all devices are still working. This makes us believe that we do have a pretty robust design. For the pressure sensor, the electronics and the polymer housing we will use only standard components and standard manufacturing methods which are readily available on the market. The first series of BTPS! Systems will be manufactured “around the corner”. Although this will make the parts somehow more expensive (compared to manufacturing somewhere overseas), we do believe that this is faster and will buy us time for challenges we don’t see coming - and we want to support the shops "around the corner".
The BTPS! firmware development is covered by André. So on that critical part we don't rely on a supplier and it's in our hand. We already have Apps for iPhone and Android phones as well as for selected smart watches. There we have already established a sound network of partners who have proven to work fast, accurate, and deliver in time. For the Pebble, it is not known when this smart-watch will be officially released on the market. We already work on the firmware for the pebble, but we need the final version of this watch in order to ensure proper functionality. For bike-computers like Garmin, VDO, Bryton, etc. we rely on the manufacturer to get the BTPS! functionality integrated in the firmware. To achieve this, we have firstly established personal contact to all of the brands I have listed and secondly, we are an ANT+ alliance member and are working with ANT+ to have a bike tire pressure device profile developed, certify our device.
Please, help us to put pressure on these guys by backing this project and showing how eager you are to get this product in your tires.
If not used BTPS! goes in sleep-mode to reduce power consumption and increase battery life-time. As soon as the bike is moved (like lifting from the carrier) BTPS! wakes up and starts transmitting pressure data immediately.
It is really easy. If you know how to mount a bicycle tire you can also install BTPS! There are no special tools required. We will also provide a detailed instruction manual as well as a video showing how to mount BTPS!
No problem. All components we use are shock proven. During all our testing we never ever had a component failure. And you may believe us: we did test hard - even in the Swiss mountains!
The actual prototype weighs about 7 grams or 0.25 ounces. The weight of the final version is not yet available but we don't expect a big difference. We recommend to mount it opposite to the valve as counterbalance.
Yes, BTPS! will be available for all rim sizes. If you kickstart our project, we will ask you to indicate the rim size of your bike in order to ship you the right version.
I often cycle with my buddies. Is there a risk of interference with pressure sensors of other cyclists.
No. Every BTPS! has a unique identifier (serial number). On first use of BTPS! the App matches all your bikes equipped with BTPS! sensors to your smart device. If done, all other sensors within range will be ignored.
No. BTPS! is small and fits fully into the rim. It is completely protected by the rim side walls.
Yes! We tested BTPS! with both basic categories of sealants. With the ones which are more like a suspension of a liquid containing flakes and/or fine fiberes, and these which are based on a natural or synthetic liquid rubber (e.g. latex). In fact, one of the main driving forces behind this project was the small air leakage you still might experience when having some punctures in your MTB tire which are not fully sealed by the sealant fluid.
What sort of temperatures will this operate in. Rim and Tire temps can get quite hot especially on a downhill run?
The BTPS! is specified for temperatures up to 85°C (185°F, longterm) and up to 120°C (248°F, short term peaks).During our tests we measured the actual sensor temperature during a racebike downhill. We found a max. of about 58°C (136°F), which is far below the specs limit of 85°C.
For bikes having disc brakes temperatures are much lower compared to rim breaks.
There is no basic reason why BTPS! wouldn’t work on motorcycles. Please refer to the update section and the corresponding pledge for more information.
Yes, the battery is user replaceable. The battery door will be either a slider closure or a bayonet nut with o-ring. Both versions are easy to use. We will do the final decision based on size, blocking performance against sealant fluid entry, and cost.
Yes. A temperature measurement is build in as well. We basically use it to compensate the pressure reading for temperature changes in the tire. It is not problem for us to display the actual temperature reading on your smart device or to set up a data logging function.
- (37 days)