Recognizing that our prototype aimed to cover too much ground in creating various experiences, we decided to focus specifically on the hive mindset within a group of people due to its creative potential. Our inspiration stemmed from projects exploring collective decision-making experiences in group cycling, with key influences being the works of (2017) and (Leone, n.d).
Testing the Concept in the Real World
6 participants, including myself and Romit to maintain task relevance and deepen our understanding of the experience.
Due to delays in vest realisation, we established a simple communication language inspired by collective bee decision-making. Using vocal cues like “left,” “right,” “speed up,” and “slow down,” we explored the democratic decision-making process.
Locations of the activity
Burgess Park to London Collge of Communication
Cycling in Burgess Park
Photos credit: Daniel Ivan.
Cycling from Burgess Park to London College of Communication (LCC)
Photos credit: Daniel Ivan.
Focus Group After the Activity
The group primarily centred its activity on playful exploration, and overall, there was expressed enjoyment. Despite individual disagreements and moments of confusion, we successfully reached our destination.
Group cycling dynamics involved constant adaptation, with no designated leader, resulting in changing formations based on the environment.
Not all participants engaged in group voting due to indifference, spatial disconnection, or unfamiliarity. Cyclists’ positions in the group affected decision-making.
The verbal communication, whether in person or through hands-free devices, showed an opportunity to employ vibration as a means to streamline and simplify information, facilitating more efficient collaboration and quick decision-making within the group.
This research exercise was a pivotal moment for me in aligning all the pieces of this project. The results were promising, highlighting the evident demand and opportunity for a prototype that fits a real-world scenario. Although not tested with an actual case, the elements, such as the vibration vest for communication, and the connection to the group for collective collaboration decision-making, are present, substantiating the necessity for its development.
“Although it does not look natural on the front, it is more comfortable. I also think it is better option, considering the wind resistance and posture.”
Semi-professional cyclist on the position of the heart of the vest
How It Works: Collective Decision-Making
Keeping the Group Close
Finish building the prototype:
ensuring the safety and waterproofing of the physical computing components to withstand various weather conditions
implementation of a communication component between the vests is in progress.
Run 2-3 tests with a group of 5 cyclists to validate our prototype:
define where and how to put the input voting device (current stage ideas: forearm or the handlebars of the bikes)
to find out how effective the communication (validation).
Future Directions/ Potential
The prototype is feasible in challenging scenarios that demand collaboration among participants to balance between staying together and focusing on the activity. The vest holds potential applications in diverse settings such as recreational contexts like cultural events or functional activities like rescue missions. Its capability to streamline cognitive load makes it adaptable to a range of situations.
What is Swarm AI? (2017). YouTube. 3 November. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xWSkbsIRNMg (Accessed: 05 November 2023).
Leone, H. (no date) Synch.live, Hillary Leone. Available at: https://www.hillaryleone.com/synchlive (Accessed: 15 November 2023).