Office Bike Challenge

As we mentioned in A Shift to Motivation, our thesis project will involve an online platform for riders to track their rides along with game challenges that can be hosted between friends, co-workers and strangers. For our Public Interfaces class, we want to focus in on one type of challenge that can be hosted in an office where 4-person teams compete for riding the most miles.

Having teams compete will hopefully create an interesting dynamic where contestants at different levels will cheer each other on, instead of mainly competing against each other like the setup in the previous King of Two Wheels challenge.

We’re also switching from tracking with yarn and pins to an online display based on tracking with an app. The tracked routes can be projected in the office as seen in the model above, or alternatively displayed on a monitor. Along with the projection, we are designing a physical installation for the office space to engage all office employees to cheer for the game contestants. They will participate by sending a cheer to contestants through an old-school dial phone. The cheer will either enter the contestants’ phone as a text message, or be read out loud to the contestant if s/he is currently biking with earbuds or is using our awesome thesis helmet with speakers.

The interface in the model requires that we send an installation package with the phone and photos of the contestants to participating offices. We believe this installation will create a larger buzz around biking in the office environment, and give the participants the attention they deserve. However, offices could also participate without the package—just by projecting the web interface, and using mobile phones to send cheers to contestants. The most important thing is obviously to get more people to get excited about riding their bikes!

10 thoughts on “Office Bike Challenge

  1. Sounds fun! The group approach adds new dimension to the experience – not just people using an app, but people using an app alone and as a team, as well as with one another free of the app. The best work is Teamwork!

  2. Have you considered adding a CO2 calculator as well? A calculator that automatically calculates how much CO2 (and other environmental pollutants) are saved by biking. This can also be used to challenge organizations towards a greater focus on biking.

  3. The best and most fun work is indeed teamwork, mr. Winfrey!

    When it comes to the CO2 calculator, that’s a great idea. Right now it simply comes down to our focus. We could focus on what you’re giving up and how “good” your alternative choice is for the environment (and your health, for that matter). However, we’re assuming that those benefits are somewhat clear to people already.

    Initially, instead of doing CO2 calculators or calorie counters, we’re going more down the empowering route, trying to spread the fun, the sense of flying, the sense of being a part of a team, a part of a positive movement, painting your city, leaving a trace, telling a story through tracking. But when we’ve nailed that part, displaying what good you’ve done for the world in numbers might be a natural next step. It’s like you are leaving a beautiful visual trace in the digital world, but a much smaller environmental trace in the physical one. That could definitely become an extra incentive for the organizations to participate! Thanks, Fredrik!

  4. Do I spy an interface to record audio? If so, bravo, ever since the Creator’s Project in Dumbo earlier this year, I’ve become fascinated with audio. Allison and I will have an opportunity to play with audio in our PI class, but we won’t be able to perform the deep dive that you both will be able to in thesis. Also, I’m going to be working with GPS data as well, so, perhaps we can collaborate on spec’ing tech together.

  5. We’re not sure yet whether the phone will let you record a personal message, or you could choose from a set of messages, or if you don’t actually get to choose. The last option could allow for a fun surprise when you get to know what kind of message you actually sent (could be pulled from a pool of encouraging, funny comments). Maybe we should do a combo – either you send something pre-recorded, or you could record yourself?

    I guess the dial phone is a little bit inspired by your phone project in Physical Computing last year :) How will you use GPS – in your thesis, you mean? Let’s talk more! Geodata seems much more complicated than I first thought. Gahh.

  6. I already said this today, but I looooove the idea of a game kit! (It could even be for groups of friends, or families, or schools/universities) I think the excitement of receiving a package containing an adventure will spur anyone on to participate.

    That said, I wonder about the idea of projecting the map – will that be feasible given some offices do not have good empty white walls to project on, or no unused projectors? Maybe it’s just me, but I’m still enamored with the physical map with yarn :) Maybe you can include a giant fold out map with your game packages so that people without projectors can participate?

  7. Tina and I got the benefit of hearing you explain your blog post to Jake and Ian. You and Carrie seem like you’re in good shape. you have an audience, content and are now developing the form. My concern with having this interface / game in the workplace is how you can create incentives for both the contestants and their supporters without making it seem like betting or gambling (most workplaces would disapprove of that!). i’m excited to see how you will begin prototyping a screen-based version of your king of 2 wheels game– i have the feeling that you and may have some overlap in how we will go about making these interactive map-thingys work.

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