Fun with the cycle hire Live View

The cycle hire widget on the sony ericsson liveview

While pedalling a Boris Bike I start to shuffle in my pocket. Where is that damn iPhone. Finally, I find it. The next challenge is to get it out my pocket whilst still navigating the Humvee of the bike world. Eventually, I give up. I pull over and get my iPhone out. I look up the nearest docking station with spaces and get back on my way. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if there was some way of accessing this information from a watch-like gadget?

Enter Live View.

Using Bluetooth, the Live View gadget (£45 – £50 Amazon) connects to your Android phone (2.0 or later). You can then do cool stuff such as checkout the latest tweets, SMS messages, Facebook messages, take pictures remotely or, as this is a cycling blog, find the nearest Boris bike docking station.


Setup if fairly easy – you download a load of apps for your Android including the LiveWare Manager, Live View Application and the Cycle Hire Widget. You then sync the two together via Bluetooth. One thing to note is that it’s worth downloading the latest version of the Live View firmware as previous version are very buggy.

Strap it to your wrist and off you go

Cycle hire gadget on the display screen of the live view strapped to a wristStrap the Live View to your wrist or clip it your shirt pocket. When you need a Boris Bike you pull it out, go into the Plugins folder and open up the Cycle Hire Widget. About 30 seconds later you’ll have a list of nearby docking stations.

On the screen you can see the number of bikes available, any empty spaces and how many metres away you are. You also see an indication of which direction you need to be heading.

Whilst Cycle Hire on the Live View would be far more useful with a map it’s not bad if you know the street names nearby (Or your North from South!).


To buy now or to wait?

The Sony Ericsson Live View definitely has that “wow” and “that’s cool!” factor. If you are already on an Android phone then it’s worth considering. I definitely wouldn’t say that the Cycle Hire Widget is the killer app. Instead, the ability to browse Tweets, Facebook messages, texts, your calendar and see who is calling you is far cooler.

no-responceUnfortunately, while using Live View I did find that it didn’t always respond. I was often hit with the classic “Computer says no”. Therefore, you may want to wait a little longer for another update to the firmware.

Amazon are listing it for £45 – £50 which I think is pretty reasonable.

I’ve put together a short video showing the Live view in action:

See also:

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9 Responses to Fun with the cycle hire Live View

  1. dexey 28/02/2011 at 8:59 pm #

    Isn’t the screen 90º out?

  2. ibikelondon 01/03/2011 at 9:01 am #

    Great for checking bike docking station stasus, perhaps, but my concern is that the majority of people who buy one of these will be non-cyclists, who might be encouraged by this gadget to check their tweets or their SMS or their Facebook update whilst driving a car at speed past cyclists….

    I think London’s drivers have enough distractions as it it, to be honest, and I would rather they concentrate on overtaking me on their bikes safely rather than an extension of their phone.

    Sorry Andreas, this gadget is a fail in my books.

  3. Drew 01/03/2011 at 5:14 pm #

    Very article, Andreas. Thank you!

    One point – I think you’ll find if you own an Apple it’s against the terms & conditions to ever call it “damn iPhone” 😀

    • Andreas 08/03/2011 at 10:43 am #

      Very true! I can hear their legal department running over now..

  4. Drew 01/03/2011 at 5:15 pm #

    *Very interesting 😀

  5. Philippe 01/03/2011 at 8:09 pm #

    Hey Andreas,

    so I notice that you have both an iPhone and a Experia Android !
    Very cool !

    • Andreas 08/03/2011 at 10:43 am #

      Thanks Philippe! Having access to both platforms is useful for the blog..

  6. leaguetv 08/03/2011 at 7:05 pm #

    I watched the game from here…
    It worked very well. They have a lot of soccer games

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