What are the strengths of your concept?
- Relatability to the problem. The reason why we all found the idea to be good is because we can relate to the main problem that we offer a solution to: having to pull out your smartphone/music player from your pocket in order to change the songs or adjust the volume. From my point of view, this strength played a major part in the well-development of the concept and of our team.
- Safety. By having a simple media controller on the handlebar (as opposed to having to control the music you are listening to by using the smartphone), you are more focused on the road and pay more attention to your surroundings. In turn, this means that accidents caused by human error or negligence on the road.
- Uniqueness and simplicity. While our product might seem too simple for it to not already exist, this is actually the truth. After searching for competitors, we did not discover any other company that puts into practice our concept in its current form.
- Price. While similar products do exist and might seem to be the same concept as ours, they are more expensive to purchase. Given that our target group is mostly young adults (with all of them most probably owning a smartphone already), one of our initial goals was to create an affordable product. After researching various possibilities, we came to the conclusion that, by outsourcing to China, we are able to produce our product with ~5€/piece, a price significantly lower than our potential competitors.
- Potential. Given the constant rise in wireless technological applications, our product has a huge potential in becoming the norm in casual biking. Furthermore, the HandlePal can gain in the future more useful features, such as ride statistics or lighting.
What are the weaknesses of your concept?
- Power management. The HandlePal, in its current form, works on a coin cell battery, which can be easily changed, but our revised concept (with outsourcing to China) requires an external battery pack, which would make the product bigger a little more expensive.
- The production process is quite expensive. If the prototype product were to be produced, it would cost about 30€/piece, making it too expensive for our target group. Moreover, the prototype was 3D printed. While this technology is indeed on the rise, it is still not affordable money-wise and time-wise. However, both these problems could be solved by outsourcing to China.
- Software. The current app is below industry standards and does not represent a good alternative for existing music players, even though it has to advantage of being able to connect to our device. Better development or external software integration could be a solution.
- Water resistance. Because our product would spend most of its time on a bike and in an outside environment, it is important for it to be water resistant, which our current product isn’t. This matter is in our development plan.
What went well regarding the process?
- The concept was liked by every members of the team, which made it easier for us to brainstorm ideas and develop on the initial vision
- While the weekly schedule was not followed that tight in the beginning, we managed to pull ourselves together and do everything we had decided on
- The teammates were easy to work with and we all learnt and built on the feedback and criticism provided
What could have gone better?
- While overall the tasks were delivered on time, there were some situations where it would have been beneficial to finish everything before the deadline
- The development process was a little bit tough to finish in the last 2 weeks, so it would have been better if we had managed to have a less stressful ending part
My role in the team
While the other individual post stated that my learning goals were mostly related to the audiovisual field, I liked the concept very much, so I decided to focus on the programming part (alongside Guohai), which is mentioned in the post, but to a lesser extent. During these 8 weeks, I have developed a music player app for Android using Android Studio and I have implemented the User Interface that Guohai designed for the app.
However, in the last 2 weeks, I have modeled the current prototype (since Paul had a tight, overlapping schedule, while mine was not) and I have filmed and edited the video for our Kickstarter page, which was part of my learning goals.