DSC_9388, originally uploaded by gcbb.

This week, I entered my last semester at AHO. I´m doing my master thesis in collaboration with Deichmanske library in Oslo (again… see previous post). The thesis will explore future technological posibilities for the library, looking at what rolles it can fill, and services it can provide in using mobile technology.

I will maintain a project blog, though it will be written in norwegian. Please visit www.gcbb.wordpress.com

DSC_9582, originally uploaded by gcbb.

A little update on what I`m doing besides the Teknoform course. Together with Knut, we have worked on some media stations for the Deichmanske library in Oslo, Norway. The stations have been conceived from a studio course at IDE, AHO in Oslo, Norway and the Industrial design institute at HfG in Offenbach, Germany together with the OCEAN research and design network. Knut and I came in on the very end of the project, and have programed- and installed a reactive LED lighting system that communicates with the machines (Mac) as well as installing/fitting speakers, mini-macs and touchscreens.

Here are some footage from the process:

and more images to be found @: http://www.flickr.com/gp/12792444@N04/9P0758

I shall try to show the project more in detail later.

Yahoo Bike – side view

Originally uploaded by ginatrapani

Turns out, as always, [good] ideas does not come alone! I was thrilled to read this article on Gadet Lab and this article on PSFK about Yahoo’s camera equipped bicycle. The bicycles are equipped with solar powered Nokia N95 mobile phones using the GPS,  the camera and direct uploading to Flickr. The camera is also connected to an accelerometer, so that it takes pictures every 60 seconds, making it a “life streaming” bicycle, or maybe a blogject? The project is a part of Yahoo’s Start wearing purple campaign, (which I haven´t really got onto yet).

I find it quite exciting to see a very similar project to that of my own in development, especially from a big player like Yahoo, and it will be interesting to see what they do out of it. If you take a look at their flickr stream the images have striking resemblance to the images uploaded by my own flickr streaming city bike. (Do notice that comment which confirms one of my findings), so I look forward more results!

That was a lot of links to this and that, but you get my drift… More  will surely follow, but be sure to read my other project blog here in the mean time.

[lifehacker flickr-bikes-photo+map-locales-across-the-globe]

Ok, ok. I know I have neglected this blog, and that I have not yet finished explaining the outcome of my last semester yet. POSTS WILL BE UPDATED. I just need to sit down with it for a while…

Anyway, this semester I´m following a course called Teknoform (this is a link to the course description, and this the course presentation). The course is more product design oriented, which feels a bit strange for me as I have an inclination towards interaction design, but my idea for my master is hopefully to be able to combine the two disciplines, or work within an area in between the two.

In trying to keep a tidy ship, I have created a new blog for this new adventure called: (eh) GCBB (at least for the moment) found at http://gcbb.wordpress.com/.

It has been an extremely hectic three weeks, and the project-blog has been inconsiderately neglected I will do something about that , but it may take some time. In short, more testing was done, a prototype built, a paper was written and the project was presented to an external sensor. Everything has been exhibited on our school for the semester exhibition AHO Works.

This is the final-presentation and this is a paper describing the project


Today I have been doing concept-testing out in the streets. Joachim, Andre and Jan-Christian joined me for a couple of hours to do some chasing around st.Hans-haugen. We tried two game- concepts: Tag, and bingo, with camera mobiles strapped to the bicycles.


The first game was done in three intervals, with an increasing arena to play around. This was to warm up- and to get into the gaming. It turned out, quite obviously that the bigger arena, the more fun! However, we were to few to really unfold within the borough. This could be solved with a radar that give you hints on the directions to competitors.  Joachim, Jan-Christian and Andre were most keen on the game of bingo, were everyone got tasks of what to take an image of. This seemed to because it allowed them to roam on longer distances. All in all it gave me a good insight into the restrictions and possibilities in the games.


Andre hunting down an innocent passerby.

And I have started on my first draft of the final paper, not to be concidered…chaser-documentation-paper-1draft

The design-brief as presented is a very general on ment to intrigue, and to “sell” the project.


I have made a more focused one, that constrains the amount of work a bit:


Design Brief for work on a camera for the game concept Chaser.


Title: Bikes´n Buttons

Background: Chaser is a game that uses Oslo Bysykkel (city bikes) as an infrastructure for play in the streets of Oslo. It is a game that is based on “manhunt” or “catch” It is a competitive game-structure based physical displacement off free-moving individuals or teams,  and can have many different game-narratives and organisations (pursuit/catch, collecting/scavenging, search and destroy…) . 

The games are organised around the system of the city bikes, that users subscribe to, uses freely for up to three hours and that is monitored by Clear Chanel as service providers.

The bicycles themselves are equipped with cameras, geo-location and network possibilities (chaseCam), and are as such to be considered as networked objects. Every bicycle has accordingly  it´s proper identity recognised by the system.

The user decides themselves to participate in the game, on the street and the online game-community. All users are registered in Clear Channel´s system and have accordingly their proper identity that is monitored by the system.

The online game-community regulates the game and the players, and is an arena for sharing, conversations, reputations and relationships.

Problem statement: chaseCam is a networked camera placed on a shared bicycle. The bicycles are used by the public. Furthermore, the bicycles are left in a rugged, outdoors environment. The camera needs to be operated in (often) high speeds, in busy  traffic. There lies two main problems in this statement:

  • How does a camera survive the public domain?
  • How do you trigger a bicycle camera in high speed? (The initial thought is a button on the handle-bar, but what does it look like? does it need to be a button?)
Goals: The camera needs to be robust and with foolproof operation. The camera will need to be self explanatory, and enhance the gaming-experience.

Deliverables: The project should result in several iterations before a final design. The final result should consider ergonomics, interaction and aesthetics. The final result should be “shelf-explained” and “productized”  but a “commercially rational” product is not expected.


Consider this statement to be a work in progress for the moment.


The time is running and the project is going forward. I´m working on a direction where the city-bike service is used as an infrastructure for games (more on that in my previous post). And for this week I really want to confine that idea, so that I can look at different interactions. There are some scheduled activities:

Rapid prototyping

A joint for a three-legged taburet, made by laser-sintering. This rapid prototyping lets the designer make higly complex geometries. Look at flickr´s digital fabrication group for inspiration.

This week our the studio will present our projects for other students currently occupied with rapid prototyping using laser-sintering. Their course is a learning course in project-based teamwork, and focused on production methods. Rapid prototyping (RP) using laser-sintering technology is a complex process that takes digital 3d computer models and “prints” them into physical models.

The students will work in team on our projects. For this I will present my project, and write a design brief.

They will be working with the casing for the electronics on the bike, but I want them to experiment and iterate on the brief, as to give me different solutions and new perspectives on my idea.

The presentation will be posted Wednesdays


Further work this week will be to try out bike game play with other people. I am making a simple prototype that is basically a camera that is easily triggered while cycling. I also want this prototype to have some “charge” mechanism that can when the cyclist may take the photos. To make the work-load smaller, I will make one working type and other mock-ups, so that more people can try together. More will follow.

but first some music: I have managed to piece together a little muxtape for while you wait:

Iteration five of my semester project has focused on the city-bike as platform for social networked services. I want to make a service that is about actions rather than representations of happened places. About being the in the  moment rather than looking at the image of it. I have pursued two conceptual directions from this stance: One is using the city-bikes as a infrastructure for game-play, the other is making a specific type of camera-culture. The later may feel a bit forced…

but first: Transport behaviour:

I have thought about the way my project may be used, and affect activities around the city-bikes.

A mental map of today´s transport behaviour looks like this:

The logic of general transport behaviour is obvious: the commuter travels as efficiently as possible on her way to work in the morning, but uses time on her way back. To meet friends, shop groceries, pick up children or stop by the gym. The behaviour is true for all public transport, bus, tram, train and city-bike. This means that the activity in the street has a totally different character in the morning than the afternoon.


My project may change that mental image to be something more like this:

What if one could tweak that behaviour? By motivating people to play more, what character would the street get?


Concept: Chaser

Chaser is a game platform that uses the city-bike as a infrastructure. Whats great about using this infrastructure is that it is uniform, widely distributed and instantly accessible.

Product statement:

Chaser is a game that uses bike sharing as a platform, and a way to connect to fellow bicyclists.

The aim of the game is to “catch” other cyclists, by snapping a photo of them. The camera will have to be within a certain range of another bicycle to be charged. The pictures themselves will not be of high quality, but rahter work as tokens, or trophyes that are rich on the moment they represent. You compete against other cyclists.


A (rather shakey) video of the experience of chasing an unknown bicyclist.


Watching other players. Bike rage in your neighbourhood!


An sketch of how a profile page might look for players in Chaser. Like social-networks a news feed that shows you activity relevant to your friends, the game and locations. The game might involve different activeties, like hits, conspiracies… This is just a generic mock-up, laid on top of facebook, and does represent my finished design.


Concept two: Camera culture

This is not a concept per se, but the conceptual landscape I have investigated earlier. I have found that getting interesting image from that kind of camera may be very difficult, furthermore, the images will be very similar so there is a danger of a very boring result. (see photostream below).

What do you look at?

Oslosykkel´s Flickr stream. It has quite coarse images for the moment, and I concider it more as a test to see what it looks like. As pointed out, it is not that interesting of a database… (Not geo-tagged unfortunately).


I have tried to look at different categorisations or organisation of the images, by place, time of day, by bicycle or mast recent. Again, these are generic mock-up´s and does not represent any attempt for beautiful visualisations. However, my intention is to put the bulk of the work on what happens in the moment, and not the web-end of the service.

“Recently updated” page


“Sorted by time” page



State of the art:  till looking at interesting/relevant projects around the web.

Cameras: I´m Looking into ways of manipulating the footage taken from the bicycles, so that it would have enough value on it own.

PanCam with Images

PanCam is a “slit” camera, that scans the middle row of pixels on a video-feed, thereby making long manipulated panoramas from the video. 


I´, intrigued bu Microsoft´s Photosynth which is a software that maps photos on to 3D model, giving a new way of navigating around.


Rider Spoke by Blast Theory “Rider Spoke is a new work for cyclists combining theatre with game play and state of the art technology”

tagged city play by Lucid society “…is a multi player computer game, played in the real cities. The situatedness of this pervasive play is given by the use of mobile and ubiquitous computing devices.”


Design Brief for prototyping physical design:

Chaser is uses a camera device, attached to publicly used city-bike. The camera needs the robustness and neutrality required from the public domain, as well as standing to Clear Channels city-bike design.

From Frog designs frog blog: “design conversations, not products” have similar thought on the design practice as Schulze&Webb´s idea of “Products are people to


and Schulze&Webb´s Olinda radio has been launched. It is a very interesting approach to a product serving more than the obvious function (in this case a radio, a audio application). The physical product is just the touch point to service!


About this blog:

I am a master student at the Oslo school of Architecture & Design in Norway. My studies are in industrial design, focused on interaction design and tangible interactions. This blog follows a studio course called "Touch - new local interfaces" that researches tangible interaction and networked objects specially through RFID technology. My projects investigates interactions in the public domain, and is working against services around bike-sharing systems. Feel free to comment! Gunnar Bothner-By

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