Corpojive sued for pretending bike can read maps
“The ReaderBike product began as a normal bicycle,” said an engineer from Corpojive, Inc., who makes the bike. “Then we stuffed each of the tubes so that we could steer it remotely.”
The Corpojive remote steering system uses magnets to pull iron filings inside the bike frame to one side or the other, causing the bike to lean and turn.
Map reading proved exceptionally difficult to teach though.
“A bike like this, you can’t really see where it keeps its brain,” said the engineer, referencing Harry Potter with a strange look on his face. “So we didn’t do anything with that part.”
Instead they affixed wifi microphones and speakers to the handlebars.
“This helps us assess and influence the situation around the bike,” said the engineer. “The speakers point at the microphone, so we capture back whatever we say, but with the ambient background noise from the bike.”
Corpojive then equipped a female sales person with a set of hidden remote controls for the special bike.
At the demo, all she had to do was pretend to show the map to the bicycle, then steer it with the remotes,” said the engineer. “It looked just like the bicycle was reading the map.”
Then in the tradition of IBM versus Kasparov, they entered the bike in an international navigation competition.
“We told everyone it was a London cab driver,” said the engineer. “Playing against a guy with no sense of direction who was sponsored by Corpojive.”
Strangely enough though, Corpojive arranged for the ReaderBike to lose to the contestant they sponsored. When the bicycle’s turn came, it made all the wrong turns.
“We just couldn’t resist the temptation of defeating a London cab driver,” said the engineer. “Even though we knew it really wasn’t one. So we had the salesperson with the remote control make it throw the match.”
“It performed horrifically. We were joking, does it get another turn, because it hasn’t made a correct turn yet, things of that nature. Everyone was groaning. It was fun.”
So they did it again and again. Corpojive organized hundreds of such matches last month alone.
We had a lot of demand,” said the engineer. People were into the novelty of out playing a London cab driver and/or a ReaderBike. Of course what we had them play against was actually neither.”
Onlookers were not pleased. “What a complete waste of time?” asked one. “What is this even supposed to be about?”
Corpojive, Inc. is being sued for pretending their bike could read and staging the navigation matches.