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The ybike. A Swiftly Researched, Rapidly Prototyped, Photo-taking Bike

Tarikh Korula (Uncommon Projects), Josh Rooke-Ley (Uncommon Projects, LLC.)

Uncommon Projects was tapped to create 20 very special bikes to promote Yahoo!’s Purple campaign. The bikes needed to automatically take photos while being ridden. But they also needed to geotag each photo, upload it to Flickr in real time, work domestically and internationally, weather the elements, survive city riding, and last for weeks on a charge. With little more than 8 weeks to research, prototype, and ship the bikes, the project became an exercise in extreme product prototyping and marketing.

Creating an agile, Brooklyn-based team of engineers, Uncommon Projects delivered 20 bikes in September 2008. Since the launch there have been over 60,000 photos snapped by riders in 9 countries on 4 continents. The project became a unique opportunity for Uncommon to fuse marketing and prototyping into sponsored, R&D for hire. Believing that research can outlast (and thereby improve) a marketing campaign, Uncommon has posted source code, hardware schematics, platform research, and CAD drawings online for anyone to use or modify.

Photo of Tarikh Korula

Tarikh Korula

Uncommon Projects

Tarikh Korula and Josh Rooke-ley are founding partners of Uncommon Projects, a New York based hardware and software design studio. Uncommon’s work includes product development and interactive marketing campaigns. Recent clients have included Yahoo, Hopelab and Panasonic. Tarikh holds a Masters in Interactive Telecommunications from NYU and has written for award winning publications including Punk Planet and Make Magazine. In 2002, he received a grant from the Media Alliance’s Independent Radio and Sound Art Fellowship and his sound work has been exhibited in Japan, France, China and at the New Museum in New York.

Josh Rooke-Ley

Uncommon Projects, LLC.

I’m a coder.

  • Sun Microsystems
  • Yahoo! Inc.
  • IEEE
  • Make magazine
  • Orange Labs