Iteration five revisited

Posted on: May 8, 2008

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.


4 Responses to "Iteration five revisited"

This was a solid posting! Bless you!

Somehow i missed the point. Probably lost in translation 🙂 Anyway … nice blog to visit.

cheers, Connecter.

[…] to the images uploaded by my own flickr streaming city bike. (Do notice that comment which confirms one of my findings) […]

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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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