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12/10/2013 11:23 EST | Updated 02/09/2014 05:59 EST
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. - A Massachusetts startup is launching a new device that transforms almost any bicycle into an electric-hybrid vehicle using an app on a smartphone.

The device, called the Copenhagen Wheel, is installed as part of a rear hub of a bike wheel and is packed with a proprietary computer, batteries and sensors that monitor how hard a rider is pedaling and activate an onboard motor whenever support is needed. The device uses wireless connectivity to communicate with the biker's smartphone to track distance travelled and elevation gained, share with friends the number of calories burned and lock the wheel remotely as soon as the owner walks away from the bike.

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