What makes a great motocycle trip. I would say viewing great sights, meeting new people, and experiencing the open road on a motorcycle. And really all you need is a bike, a road and places where bikers congregate. Now, new technologies such as cell phones, gps devices and web based motorcycle community sites are changing the experience, and provide new opportunities.
I enjoy touring by motorcycle whether itâ€™s a quick weekend trip, or a few weeks and several thousand kilometers. Recently Iâ€™ve started to experiment with various digital devices to help with navigation, communication and trip planning. The following is a rough spec for the motomappr digital device that would enhance the motorcycle touring experience.
1. Single Device with Headset and Visor Display
The device will fall somewhere within the defines of a PDA, GPS, Smartphone or UMPC, and include functionality to be a mobile phone, and GPS device with voice guided navigation through a Bluetooth connected headset in my motorcycle helmet. You will be able to listen to voice navigation, but also be able to switch audio to pre-loaded music, satellite radio, mobile calls incoming and outgoing by voice activation, and audio clips specific to a location.
Voice activated controls will be an important design feature to allow riders to maintain their view of the road and traffic. In addition, visuals will be projected on a small portion of the visor and mapping visuals will be in 3D so that the actual view of the road will be similar to the projected view.
2. Content for Self Guided Tours
Tour companies, tour guides and individual motorcyclists will publish tour guides to the web. These guides will include GPS routes, Points of Interest including sights, accommodation and restaurants, and voice recorded clips that are played based on selecting or triggered based on GPS position. This content will be in a standard format that you can transfer from a web site to a motomappr digital device, or purchase or rent complete in device.
3. Share your Whereness with family and friends
There will be the option of providing secured access to family and friends about where the rider is currently located. This will be in the form of a real-time map of current location viewed through a browser to those that Iâ€™ve granted access. It may also be in the form on notification emails, sms, or automatic blog publishing based on preset times or locations.
4. Share your Whereness based on shared interest
Meeting other touring motorcyclists can be extended beyond the chance of immediate physical proximity to the opportunity of knowing the whereabouts of other bikers in a general region. By sharing current and planned location there is the opportunity of determining where paths will cross, or planning meet ups at specified locations.
There would be a need for secure control of information. You may want to share certain details with family and friends, but only some location information with a â€œshared interest audienceâ€. This shared interest audience would also need to be validated before location information is shared. One scenario is that riders publish their trip plans, and visitors to a web site can request location information. The requester could then be validated by the user based on viewing digital profile of participation in forums, social network sites like facebook, or other references.
5. Release Date?
There are examples of most of the technologies, software and communication services noted, but the integration of these components into a single device and service does not currently exist and may be a while before it hits the market. Likely plenty of time for prototyping.