The Italian economy, along with many other European countries, is facing a noticeable recession. The unemployment rate for youth under the age of 40 has reached a critical level of almost 50%. In contrast, the employment rate of over-40 generation is quite stable and even shows signs of growth attributed to globally recognized Italian 'craftsmanship'. Samsung Electronics wanted to find a solution that could address youth unemployment while simultaneously continuing the tradition of Italian craftsmanship. In response, the company launched 'Maestro Academy', an online workshop led by great Italian maestros of every field. It was an attempt for youth to rediscover their passion and discover opportunities by learning the techniques and wisdom of the maestros. Smart Bike is the culmination of one such workshops.
"I have made over 4,000 bike frames since I was 12 years old. As a bike frame builder, I have continuously tried to apply the most innovative materials. In 1995, I succeeded in building the world's first aluminum bike frame. I had a lot of respect for Alice after hearing she wanted to build a bike with her own hands."
"I'm Alice (age 31), and I live in Novara. Even when I was working I was afraid of what my future would be. One day I thought about the bike, I loved as a little girl. I wanted to design and assemble my own bike, eventually opening a bike shop. During my process, I learned about the Maestro Academy, and met maestro Giovanni Pellizzoli."
The Smart Bike is not only significant because it was hand-crafted by renowned frame Giovanni Pellizzoli and a young aspiring designer named Alice, it also addresses the issue of safety. Italy has the highest death rate for biking accidents in all of Europe, making it one of the most dangerous forms of transportation for Italian citizens according to the Italian National Statistics Office. The maestro and the young designer focused on the issue of safety. The two devised a way to apply 'smart' features to the bike's frame by connecting the bike with Samsung Galaxy smartphones, allowing them to project a bike lane on the group via lasers, utilize a rear-view camera and integrate GPS functionality. A bike that protects its rider by their smartphone was created.
The laser projectors installed on Smart Bike's frame project an exclusive bike lane onto the road as the user rides the bike. Four lasers located on the fork and the seat can be manually operated by the smartphone, or placed on auto-mode where the project recognizes low-light levels and adjusts itself accordingly.
The rear view camera is especially acknowledged for its innovation in maintaining rider safety. The camera broadcasts a real-time rear-view of the rider on the smartphone's screen, thereby making riders aware of possible risks that are behind them.
The GPS system goes beyond just providing simple information like a rider's location and the best route; it also acts as a social networking channel. It has the capability to share ride's frequently used routes with their friends. Moreover, riders can even request government offices to construct bike routes wherever the feel is necessary.
If you're a fan of Giovanni Pellizzoli, you will be curious to see the result of the collaboration with the young designer, Alice. The Smart Bike's frame aluminum construction allows for a sleek, curved line. This curved line acts as a buffer for dangerous bumps and other vibrations that the rider may experience on the road.
As it is a concept design, only one Samsung Smart Bike exists. Though there is only one, it is much more meaningful because it represents the combination of tradition and technology. An Italian craftsman, advocating tradition and technology, was introduced to Samsung's technological prowess. The result was a futuristic bike that creates solutions for our modern day issues. It seems possible that in the future we will all be able to purchase these Smart Bikes from Alice's shop. We envision that Italians will soon enjoy the freedom and safety of Samsung Smart Bikes.