Bicycle Specific design | Interaction | Barometer

This interactive bicycle count display gathers opinions from cyclists while it conveys real-time, multi-dimensional data regarding cycling behaviour. The installation is tailor made for cyclists as it allows bicycle-specific interactions via a pressure sensitive floor mat and a handrail for support.

project details


Bicycle Barometer is developed as part of the PhD research of Sandy Claes, under supervision of prof. Andrew Vande Moere of the research group Research[x]Design at the department of Architecture at KU Leuven University in Belgium.

The need for a novel type of bicycle counter was expressed by the province of Vlaams Brabant, city of Leuven and Mobiel 21 vzw, as they supported our research prototype.

Together with cyclists of Leuven, in an extensive co-design process, we designed the playful but reliable interaction method of using a pressure sensitive floormat (fun) and a handrail with a button (reliable).

Q-lite further developed the high fidelity prototype.


As cycling is increasingly promoted as an environment-friendly, cheap and even fast alternative, there exists an increasing need to involve this fast growing group of cyclists in policy making and informed civic debate. Public interactive displays (e.g. in Helsinki) can successfully inform ánd engage citizens on local topics, however, they are mainly aimed at pedestrians.

Through the Bicycle Barometer, we researched how displays can appeal to cyclists and how they can provide for a user-friendly interaction experience. The result is a bicycle-specific interaction design, consisting of a pressure-sensitive floormat, a handrail with button and a LED display.


See the Bicycle Barometer in action

The Design Process

1/ Observations of cyclists

As a first step, we observed cyclists in waiting positions and noticed how they use their hand or feet to find support. We wondered if we could exploit this in the design of …

2/ Co-creation of the Bicycle Barometer

In a co-design workshop with cyclists, we redesigned the content and appearance of a bicycle count display, based on the available data of existing bicycle counters, including average speed, top …

4/ Independent prototype

For the construction of our independent prototype, we used wood. This prototype had been set up for two weeks at two locations in and around Leuven, Belgium, in August 2015. We observed how …

5/ Research product in aluminium

Q-lite further developed the prototype into a more robust, weather and vandalism proof installation that allows a fast and flexible set up. The Bicycle Barometer asks opinions of cyclists, for instance on …