Forget selling cans of fresh air to smog-inhaling Beijing residents. Entrepreneurs looking to profit on bad urban air quality in China should check out this bike design that produces fresh air to breath as you ride. Matt Hope, who is living in Beijing, came up with the idea for the “Breathing Bike” and explains how the concept works.
As Hope explains, the major problem holding back the design is safety. Not being able to ride in the rain for fear of electrocution is a major drawback (at least there’s a built-in helmet!). But it’s the first step toward a really fascinating product idea. If 8 million (essentially worthless) cans of fresh air can be sold in China, it seems like a product that helps people get around safely (if the design can be tweaked to avoid electrocution) would be popular. In Beijing biking has declined, but a product like this could turn that around.
I wonder what other innovations we’ll see come out of Beijing’s air pollution problem.