the Alps at home
Premium software for a premium home trainer.
The Bike was designed with apps in mind. An app means the cycling experience can keep improving—continuing long after the purchase is made. To make this possible, the Bike features a clever system for mounting any size of tablet or smartphone.
NOHrD asked us to develop native iPhone, iPad and Android applications to enrich the new indoor cycle.
The software needed to be an elegant complement to the physical product, with the emphasis on experiencing the product as a single unit. One of the consequences of this requirement was that the wooden bicycle needed to be able to make connection without any fumbling with wires or awkward plug sockets.
- UX and UI design
- Native iOS and Android development
- Technical product advice
- Enriching a physical product with software
In the first phase of product development we needed to work closely with NOHrD’s product team to achieve a seamless connection between the hardware and the software. We wanted to use the right number of sensors to collect as much session data as possible to provide real time cycling statistics. The connection needed to be easy, quick and wireless.
The user wants to see useful statistics such as calories burned, wattage, speed and so on. To achieve this we needed to design an algorithm to convert the sensor data from the NOHrD Bike to usable statistics capable of being shown in the user interface.
To take things a step further, we wanted to achieve an engaging and flexible user experience which every user can enjoy. One part of this would be offering a special video experience, transporting you from your exercise location to a bike ride in your favourite surroundings.
Reliable data with the right sensors
Together with NOHrD, our team got to work to find a good combination of hardware and software. We looked for the right sensors, the right wireless radio and the right data protocol.
We convert the data that is transmitted from the sensors in the NOHrD Bike via Bluetooth into statistics relevant to the user in the interface. Accurate calculations of calories burned, wattage, speed and distance enable the user to analyse a training session on the NOHrD Bike properly. The option to connect an external heart rate monitor provides even more information on the cyclist’s performance.
Interfaces that are easy to understand
There is a straightforward onboarding session that gives the user effective guidance on setting up the Bluetooth connection between the NOHrD Bike and the application.
To maintain the flexibility of the application, the user then chooses the form of the training themselves. For example, the user determines which statistics are shown during the cycling session. The user can also make use of a virtual coach who sets objectives and varies the intensity of the training resulting in a satisfying exercise session.
New experiences with virtual bike rides
The large collection of virtual bike rides all around the world makes for exciting training sessions. Using the NOHrD Bike applications the user is able, from any exercise location, to cycle straight through the Alps, around the San Francisco Bay Area or through one of the many other cities and recreational areas.
This means that through the enriching applications for iPhone, iPad and Android the NOHrD Bike is able to offer a unique, accessible experience for use at home.
An efficient process and good working relationship are essential when developing software, particularly software that seamlessly connects with a physical product.
For the NOHrD Bike apps, we use agile working practices. We take an iterative approach. With a delivery at the end of each two week iteration. We call these iterations sprints. Each delivery brings the software a step closer to being a perfect product.
A software product is never finished and this is equally true of the NOHrD Bike apps. So we regularly develop the software further. We keep refining the product and ensure that the apps continue to function perfectly following platform changes. Our continual intensive cooperation with the product owner at NOHrD means that there are no surprises and the right objectives are achieved.
For NOHrD, software became an important part of the product experience. Even more importantly—we built up a long-term relationship in the process. If you have an interesting idea then get in touch with Joris to discuss your plans.