Bike-Aid

One of Copenhagen’s great attractions is its robust bike culture. Locals cycle from one location to another nearly every day, rain or shine. Our goal is to help newcomers to the city acclimate to its cycling customs and overall geography. No one wants to look like a tourist, constantly stopping to check Google Maps, or asking people for directions. To help new arrivals learn their way around the city – and begin to feel like confident Copenhageners – we’ve designed the Bike-Aid.

Made of cloth, covered in waterproof plastic, and sealed with velcro, the Bike-Aid slides on the user’s bike handles. The exterior is simple and black, designed to go unnoticed. Connected to an app, users pre-program the device with their three most important locations: home, school/work, and their favorite bar.

Equipped with motion sensors, the Bike-Aid receives input from the cyclist’s simple gestures. To turn the device on and off, the user does a simple high five. Bikers use the forward-sweeping gesture to be guided to their work/school address, and backward-sweeping gesture to be guided home. To go their favorite bar, give the Bike-Aid a foosball-like twist.

Once on the bike, the Bike-Aid gives the user-specific vibrations to subtly give them directions. To indicate a right-hand turn, the user feels a vibration on the right hand. Conversely, to indicate a left-hand turn, the user feels a vibration on the left hand. When a faster biker is about to zoom by and surpass the user on their right side, they receive a wave vibration in their right hand, and vice-versa. When the biker has made a mistake, they receive a strong vibration in both hands. In response to this error function, the user should Bike-Aid squeeze the handles, and the device will recalibrate a new route to the desired destination.