"Clean and informative, this project was successful from both an execution and humanitarian standpoint. The visuals associated with each day make it that much more appealing to continue learning and watching the adventure unfold." —juror Oscar Llarena
"A marriage of real-world sensors and online experience. Whimsical and engaging." —juror Jared Benson
Overview: This project is the result of taking a self-indulgent goal, riding across the U.S., and using it as a two-wheeled vehicle for helping those fighting the toughest fight of all—cancer. Precious (the bike) and Janeen (the rider) set out to raise a load of money for LIVESTRONG as part of Team Fatty and visitors could follow every mile, every weather challenge, every dog chase and every technical failure, and show their support by donating. The bike's brain was an on-board device that captured all of the experiences, combined with a cloud-based system that analyzed them; together they created a bike capable of expression, with up-to-the-moment thoughts and a subconscious.
• A draggable timeline enabled visitors to skip through parts of the journey and a "hide" button gave them a way to view, fullscreen, the spectacular imagery taken along the ride.
• The LIVESTRONG donations target goal was met and the rider is publishing a book about the experience and has filled up all preorder slots.
• A content management system allowed Janeen to upload data that couldn't be captured by the sensors on the bike—how many nights they slept under the stars, how many times they got chased by dogs. To avoid needing a laptop and an Internet connection, she used her phone for updates using a special SMS syntax.
Comments by Mattias Gunneras:
What was the most challenging aspect of the project? "Building an electronic device that was weatherproof, compact and lightweight, always connected and continually sensing data is a challenge in and of itself. In this case, we had to also make it durable enough to survive a three-month bike trip—with only a little over a month to build and test it. We made it. Also challenging was designing a cloud-based data crunching 'brain' that turned all the sensory input into feelings and words to keep followers intrigued for a whole summer."
Did you learn anything new during the process? "For us, learning is the key to new, never-been-done-before concepts and executions. During Precious, not only did we learn a great deal about software and electronics, but more importantly how good design, copywriting and execution can elevate products from great to brilliant."
Did you meet with any out-of-the-ordinary obstacles during development? "Building a custom device that had to live on the back of a bike for three bumpy months was quite a challenge. As were dealing with connectivity in the middle of nowhere and figuring out how to make the battery last for weeks on end. The list is endless."