Design and Connectedness

Full reddit kit

Full Reddit kit

At the intersection of bikes, technology, and culture is where I find the most interesting things to blog about. Cyclists are mobile, connected, and into design – either old for the retrogrouches or the newest new for gearheads. Geeky too cause we ride atop the perfect machine adorned with the highest tech gadgets and gear.

This week spotted a full Reddit kit in Mathowie’s photostream, a post about Oracle devs riding together, and today Om’s Roadmap conference.

RoadMap this year will focus on design in the age of connectedness. It’s the idea that the explosion of big data and always-on wireless connections are making the world so complex, and design, UI and user experience are the keys to simplifying and making meaning of the connected ecosystem


3G hub from Saris pairs nicely

Design and connectedness is a topic product managers are thinking about now and I touched on it in my feature last week for Wired. The bike industry trend for 13 is a renewed focused on the consumer. Bike companies are making better and easier-to-use products. The PowerCalc and Joule from Saris I have in on test are good examples. That’s the first true plug and play power meter I’ve used. Then just slid the ANT+ 3G PowerTap Hub-based wheel into the dropouts, spun it, paired, and rode. Back from the ride, I’ve got options to share the files all over. See what’s going on here with Richard Solo and handsfree kits for your cellphone when you ride too.

On the schedule at Roadmap is Stefan Olander from Nike who’ll talk about their Fuelband, a accelerometer with a vibrant community. Also speaking are people from Instagram and Tumblr who make platforms where cyclists share their rides, races, and suffer faces. Of those talks, the Tumblr one about making a space for creativity is the most interesting. That’s where I recommend bike makers spend some time thinking about how their product inspires creativity.

From clearing your head on a ride, digging deep to finish a race, or finding a solution to a work problem while commuting, the bike is a connector that’s inspired people for a century. We now have more products to share that inspiration and they keep getting better.

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