The charming chime of a bike bell has long provided one use: to alert those around that a cyclist is coming. Blubel, funding on Kickstart now, offers far more. Through LED gestures on the bell’s facade, it actually guides bike riders utilizing Bluetooth connectivity to users’ smartphones. The Blubel dedicated app also reads bike chimes across the entire network, and can re-route cyclists to avoid hazards or congestions—much the same way that Waze does for people in cars. The design is elegant and intuitive, but more importantly, its technologically advanced insides were developed with the support of European Space Agency’s Technology Transfer Programme and IBM.
Founder and CEO Sasha Afanasieva explains, “We didn’t want to build just a neat navigation gadget. We wanted Blubel to guide cyclists along routes that are safe, pleasant and cycle-friendly.” Community, she believes, is fundamental to this. “At the core of that is sharing journey experiences between Blubel users, because we believe data is powerful when it’s shared. We also want to empower the cycling community to help shape our cities, so sharing the data with urban planners is key to our mission.” This isn’t the bike bell of days gone by. It’s a guide that will actually get smarter with use.
Score a charcoal colored Blubel on Kickstarter for the earlybird price of £50. The gold-toned iteration goes for £55 and the limited edition colors are £65. All of this applies only if the campaign is fully funded.
Images courtesy of Blubel