The concept, with a few edges, is decided upon. With the interim project name “Gandalf”, the project core is defined as follows:
Everyone needs someone who will call and say: “get dressed, we’re going on an adventure”. This quote inspires the core and heart of Smart Bike. Its purpose is to excite you for cycling to adventures. For this reason, the bike plans the adventure, provides you with necessary information about gear and supply, navigates, takes care of you and cheers you up to reach your goal. It is the friend who boosts your self-confidence to tackle every obstacle on a cycle trip and it is the tour leader who navigates and takes care of you.
Why have a concept which has nothing obvious connection to saving the environment? I gave it more than just a little thought, which concept to move to the next level. Should it be rather a statement design, should it be something which is usable for every bike, should it be like a futuristic bike concept? Which intention do I want to pursue with this project?
A few additional concept ideas
I had a few ideas throughout the process. The decision to go ahead with these specific concepts was, in fact, made by my interviewees. I took my concepts to three people I interviewed, discussed those with them, and considered their recommendation. In unison, they all agreed that they would enjoy using ‘Gandalf’ (working title). One participant, who was quite cynical about the goal of my project, admitted that, if anything, this might get more people into cycling. This is the reason I am taking a concept on to the next step, which is not primarily an environmentalist project. We are already manipulated to feel guilty because of eating meat, because of going on vacation by plane, because of eating fish. Living has become a cartoon with traps all over the floor, and if you step into one, you stumble and fall into the next five right away. Every comfort is questioned by its ethical, environmental and economical background, being vegetarian means you kill thousands of bugs for the agriculture of soy, getting an electrical car is laughed at, every little good deed entails a whole lot of justification, and who wants to face that constantly? At that point I want to say well done to everyone who has to justify every time on a family diner, why they choose to be vegetarian. With this in mind, the reason is rather obvious now, isn’t it? A project which is forcing to the user to think of the consequences of their deed is like dragging them to the gym. Which is fine for the first 3 weeks but then the hype is already gone. I would like this project to be more long lasting with a real impact onto the behaviour. Therefore, it needs to appeal the entertainment or the adrenaline part of the brain. Both are very powerful motivators to include the product into a daily habit. I hope, ‘Gandalf’ is able to get the people out of their comfort zone in a way they enjoy and want more from.