One of the more successful bike sharing services was launched in Paris in 2007 by the company Vélib’. Now a similar service is coming to New York City with a mobile technology twist.
SoBi allows users to interact with the service through their mobile phones. One can find nearby bicycles tracked by GPS, then unlock those available bikes using a mobile app.
Instead of the pre-built and deployed docking stations employed by other services, SoBi bikes will have a "lock box” attached to the rear wheel of the bike which can be used to lock the bike to typical bike racks. The lock box also has a fair amount of technology built in: it connects the bike to a central server, thereby signaling its location back to the system. The lock box also allows users to unlock the bike using their mobile phone or by using a traditional keypad and PIN, similar to the way one would use a bank card.