Dutch electric bicycle maker VanMoof was among three companies to gain early support for Apple’s newly expanded Find My object location network last week, a project that started nearly a year ago with a forum post.
As detailed by iCulture, VanMoof initially reached out to Apple through a developer forum in June or July of 2020, shortly after the tech giant announced plans to build out Find My support for non-Apple devices.
According to Job Stehmann, VanMoof’s head of product design, a developer contacted Apple and discovered the company was actively looking for partners that could bring “something new” to the table. After agreeing to collaborate, VanMoof, through its office in San Francisco, sent a number of prototype bikes to Apple engineers for evaluation. The companies discussed the program’s progress in weekly meetings.
Despite constant communication, the project hit a few speed bumps. Apple is used to working with small Bluetooth devices like earbuds, not larger products that require software to control motors, locks, and an anti-theft system. The tech giant was, at times, a bit lost, Stehmann said.
It took VanMoof and Apple about nine months of collaboration to complete Find My integration, with the effort focused mainly on software. That is a significant chunk of time and resources to dedicate, but Stehmann said the result was worth the price. He believes others will follow suit.