Rent A Bicycle With Your Cell Phone

Roland Piquepaille writes “If you live in West London, more precisely in the Hammersmith and Fulham borough, you can use your mobile phone to unlock and rent a bicycle. In “Phones power bike rental scheme,” BBC News Online writes that users receive a PIN via SMS when they want to rent a bicycle and a second one to return it. They also receive the price of the trip via SMS and are charged monthly on their credit cards. Rates are fairly low, from 30p for less than 15 minutes, up to ?8 for one to eight hours. The company behind this new scheme, OYBike, has already 28 docking stations near metro stations or car parks, and expects to extend this service to other areas of London starting this month. This item on my blog contains more details and references, including pictures and links to the patent behind the service offered by OYBike.” I’m pretty sure I’ve heard of similar offerings in other European countries, so I’m not sure how new this is, but it is still an interesting use of SMS. Update: Indeed, I had heard about other similar offerings in Europe because there are other similar offerings in Europe.

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