An electric skateboard designed for the ultimate pleasure and Delight
Sungwoo Park has designed Delight, a smart electric skateboard that is fun to ride and recommends new places to discover
Delight is an electric skateboard by Sungwoo Park for leisure, to maximize the pleasure of use. A new personal mobility concept that is designed to sit at the overlap of mobility and leisure.
Do you consider personal mobility as mainly a way to get around? Or, are you looking for something more?
Many personal mobility products – like electric scooters, electric bicycles and electric kickboards – focus specifically on helping people get from one place to the next. Marketing also tends to focus on speed and completing your journey quickly. Delight takes a different approach.
The minds behind Delight – Sungwoo Park
Sungwoo Park is an industrial designer based in Seoul, South Korea. Previous team projects he has worked on include a small travel hairdryer and a ‘hidden’ rice cooker. Both projects looked at ways existing products in the category could be rethought to offer new functionality.
The hairdryer, inspired by a pebble, fits comfortably in the palm of the hand and was made for use when traveling. The rice cooker was designed to free up precious bench space and sits tucked inside a draw. An accompanying phone app receives notifications and allows cooker control.
Materials and techniques – A smart skateboard that records and suggests new environments
This electric skateboard is equipped with a range of technologies designed to enhance the rider’s enjoyment. An integrated phone app expands the possibilities and adds a social dimension through possible connections with other nearby riders.
On the side of the board there is a built-in camera. As the rider travels, it captures a video image of the surroundings. The designer says the wheels would be able to identify the roughness of the ground surface.
The data gathered and information about the rider’s journey is sent to the app. Later, the rider could review their journey details, and see a map of where they traveled. According to the designer, “this allows users to better understand their tastes.”
Based on previous journeys and the user’s preferences, the app recommends new environments to travel in.
Style & aesthetics – A sleek blackboard made for leisure, not sport
The overall form of the skateboard is fairly conventional. A platform for standing sits above two sets wheels positioned at the board ends. The soft curved black form is set off by a contrast trim line on the beveled edge, and wheels in muted metallic green.
Sungwoo noticed that in other models of electric skateboard the battery sits like a block attached underneath. Instead he integrated the battery within a curved underside of the board.
The look of the black board is definitely more akin to a tech device than a conventional skateboard. Gliding leisurely around a park with friends seems to fit the feel. It does not look like it is up for any rough and tumble action that might ordinarily come to mind thinking of skateboards.
A 1:1 sketch and model
Sungwoo explains that when designing the skateboard, the most important aspect was to get the correct scale between the board and the rider’s feet.
To achieve this, he sketched the design at 1:1 scale. He also followed it up with life-size mock-ups.
Design memento – Ask what people find enjoyable
When considering the design of Delight, Sungwoo researched and reflected on what people find enjoyable about using mobility devices. Four things were identified: freedom, speed, the cool wind, and experience of the environment. These informed his choice to create an electric skateboard as the ideal mobility form for leisure.
Honing in on the environmental factor, the designer also asked questions about how people can better feel and connect with their environment. As for direction for his solution, he thought about how people identify and go to their favorite environments. He found that parks were the most popular location for use of mobility devices—ahead of sidewalks, bike lanes and on the road.
People also enjoy seeing new environments. They will often visit places where the conditions of their favorite environment exist. You might not be able to go to the beach, but you could head to the local lakeside to get a similar feel. Furthermore, it was observed that people enjoy keeping some tangible memories of the places they go.
This interrogation of how people engage with their environment extended the design concept beyond a physical mobility device. And, was transformed into the app features of the skateboard.
The writer’s comment – Hands-free capturing of the journey adds a new dimension
It is interesting to see a mobility device that is deliberately focussed on the pleasure of use. Tradition bicycles have always enjoyed this status, and more recently many unique takes have also emerged, the Segway and various scooters as examples.
Unlike Delight, none of these directly add the dimension of capture and time to the experience. I like the idea that you could be totally immersed in a leisurely journey and not have to interrupt the moment by taking images. Yet, you would still have something to view for later reliving the experience and further discovery about the journey.