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Please evaluate my idea for a bike GPS

Discussion in 'Product Design, 3D & CAD' started by kiwiman, Nov 23, 2010.

  1. kiwiman

    kiwiman Junior Member

    hi im a design student doing my coursework and i need feedback for my idea. The product I am designing is a bike computer/GPS for use in mountain bikes on off road trails.

    It can be charged on the go by using a dynamo that you can attach to the wheel of the bike. The computer will have a spedometer and total distance which you can
    reset when you start a new route it will have gps using 3G and wifi for downloading new maps and updates etc. It has a route planner so its not just directions like some gps devices where you can plot the route between your points such as shops or stops. Please reply to this it will help my coursework alot :)
     
  2. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Hi kiwiman,

    We tend to get a lot of students asking for feedback on project concepts and ideas, and not getting involved in other areas of the forums, so they tend to get very few replies.

    As for your idea, as it's more product design based I'll move it to that section of the forums, as seems more relevant. I like the idea of it being charged by dynamo, but would that give it enough power to run all the functions you're proposing? As far as mobiles go, I know the use of GPS seems to suck up the battery life very quickly.

    Also with off-road trials, surely the locations have very weak > no GPS signal, so it could be rendered useless if that's the case? why couldn't this just be a(n) (i)phone app? I know there's a very similar one for running where you can set maps, track speed, distance, calories, etc, etc.

    Greg
     
  3. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Greg - GPS will be fine, if anything better, gprs/3g will be the issue.

    All I'm going to say is your idea will be expensive
     
  4. kiwiman

    kiwiman Junior Member

    I should of put this in the post but I'd like to say that it can be charged by the mains the dynamo is just for keeping it going if it runs out so it has a longer battery life and also the task for the coursewbork says it has to be a product and it can't be a generic device. And also it won't be put into production I just need feedback and Market research for the task
     
  5. wac

    wac Senior Member

    Hi Kiwiman. A couple of years ago I planned a cycle trip from Twatt to Lands End (over 1000 miles). I have a Garmin Quest designed for bikes and outdoor use and I did the maths concerning a dynamo and the result was that it wouldn't be anywhere near sufficient (think a drop in the ocean). So something with the features you describe would be even more power hungry. However, I did consider manufacturing a huge cylindrical battery pack that would fit into one of the drinks bottle holders. This in turn could be charged by mains each evening. hope this helps.
     
  6. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    take notice of what Greg said, we are unlikely to just 'help', join in first then we may help more....

    Been done already iirc for a bicycle light...
     
  7. kiwiman

    kiwiman Junior Member

    thanks for the tip wac
     
  8. hwright

    hwright Junior Member

    errrr not so sure kiwiman sounds like a bad idea to me
     
  9. kiwiman

    kiwiman Junior Member

    wac i looked at the product you talked about and using a
    Rechargeable internal lithium-ion battery that provides up to 20 hours seems like a good idea
    thanks :)
     
  10. kiwiman

    kiwiman Junior Member

    hugh go away :p ill tell them where you live hehehehe
     
  11. hwright

    hwright Junior Member

    noooooo
     
  12. kiwiman

    kiwiman Junior Member

    what do you think about the idea of being able to use it for walking aswell?
     
  13. Greg

    Greg Active Member

    Question in my head is still, why couldn't it be an iPhone app? Sounds like it may be over-engineered to solve a problem for a niche market? (I have no knowledge/experience of mountain bikes/off-road biking so could be well off track with my thoughts!)
     
  14. hwright

    hwright Junior Member

    seems like your doing a specialized GPS if you want to have more of a market mabey you should offer it with specilized modes for diffrent situations eg walking riding driving ect
     
  15. kiwiman

    kiwiman Junior Member

    dont you read??
     
  16. Levi

    Levi Moderator Staff Member

    Can I just point out something which you seem to be missing - gps, gprs, the combination of the two and the likes IS a generic device in that they already exist, including for the bike market....
    So does the battery pack and the dynamo so all you are doing at the very most is adding casing and a few wires.

    Check with your tutors and I will bet that they'll say it's too generic.
     
  17. kiwiman

    kiwiman Junior Member

    I will try and put up some drawings and CAD screenshots later in the project which could be in the next few weeks
     
  18. kiwiman

    kiwiman Junior Member

    And by not being generic I ment it has to be for a specific purpose like mountain biking
    And something like an iPhone is generic because it does so many different things sat nav,games,music,email etc
    Understand?
    (I don't mean to sound rude in any way)
     
  19. Kiwiman, as a mountain biker for over 20 years it's not going to work.

    No self respecting cyclist uses dynamos any more, especially for off road use (you'll have problems with secure fastenings, varying tyre widths, varying frame configurations, not to mention the wires to the unit itself, suspension, and of course in Britain there is inordinate amounts of mud all year round). There are iPhone apps, attachments for symbian phones, and Garmin eTrex type devices which are complete with batteries. The bar mounted computers are enough for most people which will give data like current/average/max speed, trip, odometer, temperature, height gained/lost, and some will include a rudimentary digital compass.

    This is enough for most mountain bikers, and there's even a push away from technology in order to experience a more 'pure' off road experience. I'm quite happy with a trip computer and an OS map... And I haven't even started on the countryside access that seems to have been forgotten by riders looking for a quick blast at many of Britain's way-marked trail centres where the need for GPS is absolutely nil.

    If I were you I'd get the feedback of other mountain bikers. Singletrack | Home is my other hangout, and the largest MTB forum in the UK. Lots of good honest advice over there.

    Good luck with the project and hopefully you are able to knock into a useable device.
     
  20. kiwiman

    kiwiman Junior Member

    How about a unit that ison your arm/wrist ather than the handlebars?
     

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