open-source bicycle interaction computer
— · — · — · — · — · — · — · — · — · — · — · — · — · —
more information: http://velosynth.com
initiated + maintained by EFFALO
velosynth proposes to augment the bicycle with a layer of sound that encourages proxemic awareness within the transportation environment
— newly unfolded directive
the first release of velosynth has been out for about nine months now, so it’s worthwhile to give the release a bit of review and see what worked, and what didn’t. here’s some collected thoughts and analysis:
- the whole device is too difficult to put together. very few people (if any?) were able to successfully assemble one. the breadboard + patchcable circuit-building process was not robust enough for the implied application, needs to be a printed circuit board instead.
- the sound generator was esoteric and unpredictable, not to mention having an unpleasant palette of sounds.
- no narrative in the documentation. although the different systems were fairly-well documented, there was no holistic sequence for guiding users on how to combine the individual parts in a useful way.
- lack of good demo applications. there was not an effective example of how the device could be used in a real-world situation.
- somewhat clumsy to install on the bicycle, things felt flimsy and temporary.
whereas the message of release #001 was ‘an open-source bicycle interaction computer,’ the emphasis of the next release should be placed upon enhancing the core pieces, to drive the idea toward accessibility:
- improved synthesis interface. the device should have a constrained palette of simple waveforms and an effective system for controlling volume.
- simplified form-factor. attaching the device to the bicycle must be faster; as easy as attaching bicycle lights.
- more assumptions. instead of pursuing the ‘hackable interface’ angle as the driver behind system architecture, expectations need to be made about how the device should be used. from these assumptions, patterns of use can be developed which can outline areas for hacking.