Australian Inventor Creates 2 in 1 Boombox Bike

By Ken Kaplan, iQ Managing Editor @kenekaplan March 19, 2014

Asking Australians to come up with a beautiful and useful hybrid invention spur some surprising ideas, including designs for a jetpack beer refrigerator, rocket surfboard and even hot tub underpants.

But it was a customized bicycle tricked out with a booming digital music system that won over hearts and minds in the recent Ultrabook Convertible Challenge. Intel asked Aussies to think big and name two everyday things that when combined create something extraordinary. The winning idea, Intel promised, would be brought to life in all its splendor.

Over 10,000 fans submitted entries via Intel Australia’s Facebook page and through the page of retail partner The Good Guys. Fans voted on their favorites to determine three runner-up prizes, and weekly and daily winners were also celebrated with illustrations of their designs.

The challenge, aimed at raising awareness of new Intel-powered 2 in 1 devices, attracted makers and creators through the Intel Australia Facebook Fan page. Just how 2 in 1 devices provide the best of both worlds — a tablet when you want it and a laptop when you need it — the call to action was for people to imagine something that blended convenience, practicality and entertainment to bring joy to their lives.

Submissions included a remote-controlled office chair built for zooming around the office and for kicks it could control the chairs of colleagues, forcing them in unexpected directions.

One sleepy Aussie suggested an alarm clock coffee machine. The entrant said she’d forgive her alarm clock for waking her up so early if only it made her fresh coffee exactly how she liked it.

Another suggested a karaoke shower. “You’re going to sing in the shower anyway, why not add a waterproof karaoke machine and microphone to make it even better?” reasoned the creator.

Another bathroom-themed invention was the aquarium bathtub replete with fish visibly swimming within the walls.

In the end, the boombox bike by Hayley Wood came out on top. She took home an ASUS TAICHI convertible while Intel set about turning her idea into reality.

Hayley’s boombox bike concept was deemed the perfect harmony of two everyday items — a bike and a stereo. As the cyclist rides the bike, the movement of the pedals would recharge the stereo’s battery, meaning no external power source would be required.

Inspired by Design, Practicality

“I’ve always really liked bicycle design,” said Hayley, describing what inspired her winning creation. “When I found the 2 in 1 challenge online, I immediately thought of a bike. I started imagining how cool it would be to put something inside one.”

She said has done a lot of research around designing accessories for bicycles

“I like building bikes. I love how efficient and sustainable they are as a form of transport, and I’ve always been interested in ways to make them more fun and hip.”

Hayley’s strong interest in bikes began when she spent five months in France as an exchange student, where she rode to and from school every day. She then carried this passion through to university.

“Since starting uni and studying industrial design, I’ve been fascinated by accessories for bikes. That’s probably why I thought of the boombox bike so quickly. I thought putting a stereo in the bike, so you can power it using the pedals and take music to picnics or parties, would be a really fantastic invention.”

Turning the Idea into a Masterpiece

When it came to designing the boombox bike, Intel’s design team sketched a variety of designs, trying to strike the perfect balance between practicality and fantastic audio quality.

A lot of the design was completed in the CAD model, using Intel-powered computers, and a number of different design options were tested out. To get a high-quality deep sound out of the bike, the designers created airtight resonant chambers that were incorporated into the build.

When she first set her eyes on the bike, Hayley could barely contain her excitement.

“When I found out that I won the competition, I was so excited,” she said. “But for some reason I didn’t realize until a few months down the track that I’d actually get to keep the bike as well — so I was excited all over again!”

Hayley was jazzed by how designers created a prototype out of her idea.

“They put in good lights and you can tell they really considered the best way to build the boombox into the bike frame and get the most out of it,” she said. “The stereo is an FM radio and MP3 player with Bluetooth connectivity. It’s the perfect end product, and the aesthetics are spot on. I wouldn’t change anything about the design.”

The resulting bicycle is everything Hayley imagined, and it’s now a regular feature and talking point at picnics and parties with friends.

“A lot of my friends don’t have amazing sound systems for parties, so I take it with me and we use the bike. Wherever I go with the bike, people comment on it and ask about it. I even use it inside as my stereo because the sound quality is so good and it’s such a unique and interesting item to showcase. The boombox bike is now a priceless possession!”