Review: Rider Spoke

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About 4 years ago, I downloaded an iPhone application that users can hide their private photos and memos at the places on the map where they visit. The other users can find the photos and memos from others when they visit the places those things are hidden and they can also add comment on it and hide their own photos there. I don’t remember the name of the application, but it was interesting moment to interact with people around me in the real world through virtual space, anonymously. Because I don’t know the people who can read my memo and I was totally anonymous, I could share my private memories related to the place.

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Blast Theory’s work ‘Rider Spoke’ is about the same as the application I experienced. But the main difference between those is that Rider Spoke requires riding. Riders put earphone with mic and go riding with a handheld computer. Because users are interacting with the devices while riding, they should be hands free devices. While riding, computer let users know where the hiding spot is. Users get questions about their life there and record their answer with their own voice and hide it. Also they can find others’ stories. All of these process is lead by navigation from handheld computer.

Also riding in the city at night provokes private moment so that users can tell their private stories more comfortable. This piece has flexible storyline. It is created and completed by the users. Creator offers only environment to interact with and the questions users might answer.

 

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In terms of design, I think it is good idea to hold the device to the handle bar and I guess it was the best choice at that time(about 10 years ago). But it will be better to use AR technology on goggle or something cause checking device while riding could be dangerous especially at night. Also I’m not sure about the interface of computer. Creator used images from Mexican votive painting, sailor tattoos and heraldry but I couldn’t find specific reason why they used it.

According to the description of the website, Rider Spoke is sponsored by Trek and was developed in collaboration with the Mixed Reality Lab at University of Nottingham, Sony Net Services and the Fraunhofer Institute as part of the European research project IPerG(Integrated Project on Pervasive Gaming).

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