B.O.B. “Buddy of Bike”

Biking is the most visible aspect of Danish culture when you arrive in Copenhagen, and one of the best modes of commuting around the city. However, cyclists in Copenhagen must use specific hand signals to communicate their intent to other cyclists. These hand signals are not universally intuitive, especially to cyclists new to Copenhagen.

B.O.B. (“Buddy Of Bike”) is a mock-up of an interactive bike handle, designed to teach new international students the Danish cycling hand signals. B.O.B. was inspired by the metaphor of bike tour guides, who would brief their clients on the hand signals. The concept was inspired by the problem statement: “How might new international CIID students experience their new home city in a fun way before they arrive in Copenhagen, so that they quickly settle into the Danish culture?”

Conceptually, B.O.B. has a speaker to issue instructions to the user. It also has a camera which senses the different hand signals by the user. The user’s hand signals then trigger positive or negative feedback, depending on whether the hand signal is correct or not. The feedback to the user is both audio (“Great job buddy!“) and visual (an LED light). The user is guided through the entire interaction, step by step.

The main learning points from this project were

  • Undergoing the double-diamond process (to diverge and then converge on a problem, before diverging and converging on a solution)
  • Developing an interaction concept, using metaphors
  • Developing interactions between the device and user in terms of Do-Feel-Know loops