How do you make a bike super smart, but still keep it super simple? Android developer Steffan Davies explains how the VanMoof App unlocks the true potential of the Electrified S2 & X2.
The app is our way of extending the functionality of the bike. We could put more tech into the frame, but it’s way more elegant to take advantage of the computer everyone’s already carrying. We’ve always wanted to keep the bike as simple and durable as possible – now you can have a much broader range of inputs and control without compromising design or resilience.
For the most part, the app is intended to sit in the background. It’s not something we want people to be tinkering with every day. It’s a reversal of conventional app logic, which wants to steal your time at every opportunity – ours actually gives you time back
The background connectivity takes our effortless philosophy to the next level. Your bike recognizes you, powering up and unlocking when you come into range – ironically saving you from unlocking your phone. It makes the hardware seem that bit more ‘magical’, while it’s actually the app doing the hard work.
There’s a lot of potential with data. We can now analyze riding patterns, seeing how fast and far people go. Privacy is always going to come first, but these metrics are a huge help to our customer service and Bike Doctors – we can start to diagnose mechanical problems before they even happen.
Compared to other developers, our team is relatively small, which means we’re super agile. The sense of freedom is really empowering at VanMoof – there are no set parameters of what a bike app ‘should’ do, and we’re encouraged to experiment and follow our intuition. That’s something we really want to preserve, especially as we grow over the coming years.