We solve urban problems
As a team of Designers and Engineers, UrbanMinded approaches problems from both a social and technical perspective. Of course our world is filled with problems - but one thing that struck us was that common and chronic problems which exist at an urban level - i.e crime, mass transport, and accessible healthcare - seem to be tackled on an individual basis - city by city, rather than at a national or international level.
BikeVault, our flagship product, was the founding idea of UrbanMinded. The phrase ‘reinvention’ is thrown around a lot nowadays, but BikeVault is truly a ‘ground-up’ re-think of how the global issue of bicycle theft is tackled.
BikeVault has been in development since 2012 - and has recently attracted support, investment, and global media coverage, as well as installation enquiries at everything from Universities to Silicon Valley technology-giant campuses.
Identify the root cause first
We apply a ‘first principles’ approach to our design process at UrbanMinded i.e what is the root cause of these social issues? Once common underlying causes have been identified, we design a solution that will work in multiple urban environments.
Making Bikevault a reality
From first principles, we took a cross section of every bike lock on the market, to try to figure out why it’s so easy for a thief to steal your bicycle. What we found was worse than we could have imagined.
10 seconds and your bike is gone
Each and every bike lock on the market can be cut in under 10 seconds, using readily available tools. This engineering oversight is founded in the human factors of bike locks. They are designed to be portable and therefore have an inherent weight restriction.
In simple terms, no affordable material exists that is light enough to carry, yet strong enough to prevent cutting. Thus, the recipe for bike security is broken; so we rewrote the recipe.
Carry the key, not the lock
When it comes to securing the things that really matter in life, your home, your car - you carry the key, not the lock. So we thought, what if the same approach can be applied to your bicycle?
Stronger, heavier yet more convenient
BikeVault is the world’s strongest bike lock - and all you need to carry is your membership card. That’s because BikeVault is a next generation bike rack - with an ultra strong lock built in. The street carries the weight - not the cyclist, and so we made the lock 450% thicker than the best on the market.
Talent spotting with Innovate UK
When we discovered Innovate UK - we thought it would be an ideal opportunity to work with some well-seasoned electrical engineers - a resource we don’t hold in-house.
Since winning the award, we have opened up relationships with some fantastic partners, and we’re now spoiled for choice on the amazing talent that is right on our doorstep here in Glasgow.