Yahoo! and their Flickr company have launched a new marketing campaign wherein they combine photography and cycling in the most simple manner. Purple Pedals is the name of the gig. Yahoo! has produced 20 specially-designed bikes equipped with a solar-powered battery that runs a mobile phone camera placed between the handlebars. The camera takes photos every 60 seconds and each photo is automatically fired off into space via the mobile net. Moments later it appears on a Flickr photostream as well as a microsite that Yahoo! has set up for the campaign.
These 20 bikes were shipped off to 20 lucky cyclists around the world and I was chosen to recieve one. It arrived last Tuesday. I join cyclists in Brighton, UK, Toronto, New York, California, Sydney, Singapore and Japan. You can follow the lives of our bikes for a few weeks and see what cycling in this different cities is like.
The battery is on the back rack and the solar panels keep the phone running. If the bike is stationary for three minutes, the system goes into standby mode. As soon as you move the bike it wakes up and starts taking photos. All so very simple.
The bike is an Electra Townie, in Yahoo's corporate colour - purple. It's a cool cruiser with gorgeous balloon tyres. There were a couple of issues with the bike which I had to iron out right away. See the above video about how I Copenhagenized it a bit. Just a bit.
Here's a video from Yahoo! about the making of the bike.
- You can see all the bikes around the world on the microsite for Purple Pedals here.
- The Flickr account for my bike also shows the photos.