Two Borders bikers are using “a little community spirit and a dose of modern technology” to prevent bike thefts.
Peebles-based company Veloeye have developed a bike theft deterrent and retrieval system which harnesses the power of social media.
Peebles cyclist Matthew Rice, 47 and Mark Lawson, 50, from Gorebridge came up with the idea of combining mobile app technology with a visible QR code sticker – linking that particular bike with its owner, so that if it was stolen, alerts could be instantly transmitted to Veloeye community users and broadcast on social media.
Veloeye was launched in 2014 and since then over 2000 sticker packs have been distributed.
And it has been met with support across the UK including the Mountain Bike Centre of Scotland, Bike Patrol and Borders College BASE Mountain Biking Students all having signed up to the scheme.
Veloeye comprises a tamper-proof sticker, which is placed on the bike. Owners scan the unique QR code and upload their details, and a photo of the bike onto the app. If the bike is safe and with its owner, its status is marked as green but if the bike is stolen, owners can report it immediately through the app, changing its status to red. Alerts will be automatically issued on Veloeye’s social media channels, with a description of the bike.
Matthew Rice said: “Veloeye acts as a deterrent and a tracking device, which is great news for the five million cyclists in the UK.
“We’ve designed the stickers to be as tamper proof as possible and a complete pain for even the most dedicated of thieves.
“We love our bikes, we don’t want them to be stolen, but if they are we’d like to have the best chance of being reunited with them.”
The Veloeye pack costs £10 and is available at www.veloeye.com on Amazon Marketplace and at selection of bike shops across the UK.
The app is free to download.
Mark Lawson added: “Veloeye is a way for cyclists to pool our resources and act as a community to help fight bike theft.
“We’re not talking super-hero stuff; we’re simply applying a little community spirit and a dose of modern technology.
“We want to build a community of cyclists who will look out for each other.
“Hopefully it will soon be a common sight for a vigilant, justice-loving cyclist to come up to your bike and scan it, checking it’s with its rightful owner.”