Smart Screen for Distracted Motorcyclist
My team were faced with the challenge of designing an interactive smart screen for an easily distracted motorcyclist. We started out debating over the dilemma as to whether this product will alienate the user as an easily distracted subject, or will it be aimed at a general population with the customizable option for those who might prefer limited access during their drive. In the end, we decided to go with the latter option of creating an interactive platform where the user has the option of deciding how much freedom they could have in terms of interacting with navigation, music, settings, and emergency services. We thought that it would be too much of a risk to permanently cut down functions for the sake of helping the driver to concentrate, we could end up creating an inconvenience rather than a useful tool.
Creating an interactive smart screen for a motorcycle proved to be more challenging than what we have seen with smart cars. The usual apps that would prove to be useful for the user’s needs and enjoyment became questionable as to whether they were even necessary or if it were possible to execute. An example was the use of music app. Yes it is true that music control just might be one of the most basic feature of many modern smart devices, but on a motorcycle, would it be safe to listen to music? The same way that you are not allowed to use head phones while driving your car due to risk of lack of awareness to the surroundings. We could not just let music blast out freely either because not everyone is comfortable sharing their music and not everyone around you wants to hear your music. This was an example of an expected feature that needed to be reconsidered due to the changing platform. However, a useful function that we saw was necessary and a perfect fit for motorcycles was an included dash cam that works with the smart screen to store videos incase of impact and automatically contacting emergency services.
I believe that our approach to this project is vital to developing future ideas of interactive devices on changing platforms. Especially when it comes to target a user’s specific need, starting out by deciding if we want to create a controlled platform or want with the freedom for the user to decide what would be best for themselves. When designing the platform for an easily distracted driver it was challenging to just focus on the touch screen without thinking about designing the entire motorcycle just for this specific group of users, we could not just attach an interactive platform to any vehicle without understanding the relationship of how they all interact together to create a specific experience for the user. Considering changing platforms is also another important approach as the existence of one app might lose value in a different platform. Especially as technology continues to change in terms of wearable technology or virtual reality, it is important to consider the necessity of certain functions that would make sense on one platform but not another.