New York streets are congested with traffic, and the subways are over-crowded. Our goal with this project is to get more people biking for transportation. Our target audience is 20-40 year olds that knows how to bike, most likely owns a bike already, but is still not using the bike for transportation. Our main findings from our initial research was this:
1. People have a personal perception that biking in Manhattan is dangerous.
2. Biking is not the easiest and most convenient way to commute – until it becomes a habit.
3. Novice riders don’t have enough knowledge about how to bike and where to bike.
But our Helmet Head will hopefully help the casual biker overcome the initial barriers to biking in the city. It’s a talking helmet that pairs with a smartphone app. We were encouraged to create a user journey to explain the concept in a compelling way:
So that was the storytelling. But we have been thinking a bit about how to make this helmet so incredibly smart, too. Behind the scenes, this is how we imagine that it would work:
This conceptual model shows how tips from seasoned bikers, weather reports, traffic data and bike lanes all go into the Helmet Head database. When the user inputs desired destination into the Helmet Head app, it suggests routes with different levels of safety. After choosing a route, the app can be put in the user’s pocket, where it will quietly track the user moving through the city. The user can concentrate on biking, while letting the helmets embedded headset give directions, encouragement, progress and tips.
When a Helmet Head user becomes an avid biker, he or she might not need the same type of directions, tips and encouragement on the daily commute. The settings in the app will account for this so it could work mainly as a tracking device. In addition, the pro biker would be encouraged to add to the pool of bike tips, to make sure the app has all relevant information for the bikers out there. We also thought about how the app could sync with a bluetooth headset – so we wouldn’t require everyone to buy our helmet to use the app.