The 21st International Bicycle Design Competition had our team working on overdrive. We
had three entries sent in from Artifact and Shard, an exer-cycle by day, a lighting accessory by night, won the prestigious Merit Award. Shard is a cycle trainer that transforms from a functional object to an artistic light installation when not in use. It creates an immersive experience through haloed lighting around the cyclist. Moving away from the prevalence of screen and number based interface systems in
biofeedback interaction designs, Shard influences behavior through ambient light that does not demand direct attention for consumption of information.
In both its working modes, cycling mode and standby mode, Shard gives ambient light based on input taken from sensors on the bike or data from the dedicated mobile application.
The team researched and understood Exercise Psychology extensively, and deduced that for
a workout routine to be most acceptable, the communication needed to be non-controlling and messages to be informative and flexible. The UI/UX development key was simple – It had to be seamless, natural to any workout experience and integrated with the user’s sensory capabilities and control modalities. The non-interfering (no distraction) and spatial (focus-enabling) qualities of Light, along with the informative and mood enhancing qualities of Color (with its wide range of shades), made these two elements the core of Shard’s user experience.
During the cycling mode, the cycle connects to the user’s phone via Bluetooth and they have
the option of selecting training regimes or racing options- both virtually and with other Shard users (beautifully integrated with speed indicative lighting). The application connects to other online applications and enables quiet but informative notifications that the user can manage by creating ‘if this then that’ conditional statements. Heart rate and speed sensors on the cycle provide the input values to the app. Which uses analytical algorithm to give feedback through light via intensity, color shades and brightness. The application allows for intelligent lighting where sounds, both ambient and over the headsets, are captured and
reflected with synchronized lighting effect. Shard is a workout cycle that would seamlessly fit into classy décor and even contribute to
The use of primitive materials such as glass, brass and leather and the intelligent contribution of Light and Color, managed by a mobile app, lends to Shard an aesthetic value that any user, with an eye for style and innovative living spaces, would aspire to own.