Innovation That Matters

Worldwide bicycle registration service

Work & Lifestyle

Registering bicycles to make them easier to track down if lost or stolen isn’t new. Many bike retailers put identification numbers on bike frames, and in some cities you can register bicycles with the police. The problem is that these methods are generally only effective at the local level. Enter German startup MyBikeNumber. Launched in December 2009, MyBikeNumber is a free online service that lets consumers register their bicycle and components, or search for them worldwide. Users register their bike on the MyBikeNumber site using the frame number, and add photos to the profile page to help visually identify their bike. Registered bikes are allocated a unique QR code, which can be printed as a sticker and affixed to the frame. The code can be read by many mobile devices. MyBikeNumber also allows bike retailers to register their entire inventory under a single “dealer code”. Registered cycles can be reported as stolen or lost, or recorded as sold to a new owner, through the site. Consumers can visit the site and check the unique identifiers to ensure that the bicycle they are looking to purchase is not stolen. In the event that a bike is found to be stolen, a message can be sent securely through the site to inform the rightful owner. According to the FBI, there were 221,936 bicycle thefts in the United States in 2008. Globally, the number of bikes reported stolen annually is estimated at 1.5 million. MyBikeNumber aims to help bike owners worldwide avoid becoming a statistic. Could this be a model worth emulating to trace other possessions vulnerable to theft? (Related: Lost & found in the 21st century.) Spotted by: Bjarke Svendsen



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