PowUnity is a cycling tech company that aims to protect riders and their bikes. The brand explains the philosophy behind its new app
Can you tell us more about PowUnity?
There are many apps for bicycles and e-bikes. More and more e-bike and motor manufacturers are using them to improve their customers’ riding experience. There has been a strong trend for years: the display on the e-bike is gradually being replaced by the smartphone.
Instead, the smartphone with the appropriate e-bike app is becoming the control centre for pedelecs. The Bosch eBike Connect app, the Ride Control app for Giant bikes, the VanMoof app, or the Mission Control app from Specialized are just a few of the apps from well-known brands that can be used to customise the settings and functions of branded bikes.
Whether an e-bike app fulfils its potential depends crucially on good development, otherwise, it can backfire.
At PowUnity, we believe that an e-bike app that is not developed with the customer in mind will not be accepted – no matter how much it costs, no matter how big the brand name, no matter how complex and modern it is. Development must go hand-in-hand with the e-biker, so that they can decide what e-bikers really need. Easier said than done.
What is new for PowUnity in 2023?
At PowUnity this year in 2023 everything revolves around the development of the new PowUnity app – hand in hand with e-bikers who simply love to ride their bikes.
At the beginning of 2023, the collaboration with the PowUnity Beta App Audity started – a beta tester group of about 150 e-bikers who share their experiences with other apps and their needs for a new e-bike app and test it together with Wolfgang [Reider, customer support], an internal person in charge, before the app is launched in its basic form.
Philipp H. for example, is a very active biker and beta app tester who participated in the development in the closed Facebook group and had clear wishes, some of which are not so obvious for an app developer at first: “I commute to work by bike and pause the music in some places because of the traffic. How about this: You mark music-free zones on the map and when you cycle into them, the music stops automatically and starts again when you leave the zone.”
What does the new app offer riders?
An understandable desire to ride safely in traffic, but do you come up with features like this if you don’t listen to the customer? There’s so much innovation going on in the bike industry that we think it’s time to stop and ask cyclists: What do you really want? What motivates you to ride a bike? That is often forgotten.
That is what we are focusing on this year. Not at trade shows, not in meetings with cyclists, but in everyday life, in the togetherness of cycling. “Of course, bug-fixing is also on the agenda when we test the app together,” said Reider from PowUnity. “And of course, we can’t fulfil every wish. But it is important that we first develop the app with our beta testers ‘up close and personal’ while riding and not just on the computer.
Our beta testers received a tyre pressure sensor to monitor their tyre pressure in the PowUnity app and a smartphone mount for their e-bike. And now they are cycling towards the future for us.
How does the new app help riders protect their bikes?
With the new app, BikeTrax owners will not only be able to protect their e-bike from theft but will also be able to use their smartphone as an e-bike display. This is where all the functions come together – from e-bike control to ride statistics to an automatic maintenance and service schedule and much more. The integration of external services, such as tyre pressure monitoring, gives e-bikers an app that makes many others obsolete.
The Innsbruck-based company offers e-bike manufacturers a white-label solution for the PowUnity e-bike app, including a dashboard that shows the use of their e-bikes in various parameters.