When riding in traffic, or around pedestrians, one never knows what will happen. A quick YouTube search will pull up way to many action cam videos of cyclists being hit by cars. The MYBELL team is looking to do their part to help keep cyclist safer by creating the first customizable electronic bike bell. It can output an MP3 of your choosing at 96db, making it about 10 times louder than your average 70db mechanical bell.
The MYBELL crew is working on the final design touches (adding in customizable white LEDs and a remote trigger). Once finalized, expect a KickStarter campaign in January 2014.
Full Press Release after the jump.
THE WORLD’S FIRST CUSTOMIZABLE BICYCLE BELL Engadget Insert Coin Finalist
MYBELL is the world’s first customizable bicycle bell. Projecting user-selected sounds upwards of 96 decibels. Mechanical bells top out at 70 decibels and busy intersections can be as loud as 80 decibels. This difference is important because decibels are logarithmic which means MYBELL is about 10 times louder than mechanical bells. MYBELL uses a USB plug-in to power its batteries and transfer digital audio files. MYBELL can attach to most handlebars with our elastic dongle, so it goes wherever you go.
Why should people who bike be limited in their options? MYBELL lets riders customize their sound and their lighting signals. We don’t live in a one-sound-fits-all world. Different sounds invoke different responses depending on geography, culture or community norms. We think you know your commute and bike path better than we do so we want to provide the platform to best help you navigate roads, streets, and trails. A mechanical bike bell might work in some areas IF it can be heard but sometimes your surroundings necessitate a different audible or visual signal. What works in Brooklyn might not work in Shanghai or London. You decide what works best.
Last year, Peter was riding his bike in New York City when someone stood blocking the bike lane. He rang his bell and they either did not hear him or did not bother to move. He swerved and almost got into an accident. This had happened before, but on this day he thought what if his bell was louder or had a different sound? Not satisfied with alternatives on the market he started tinkering and formed a team made up of friends he met at New York’s Hardware Startup and Make-It Meetups.
MYBELL’s team consists of Peter Pottier, Robert Clarke, and Valentin Siderskiy. Robert has over 7 years of design for manufacturing experience in the aerospace, defense and medical device industries. Valentin has over 6 years of Electrical Engineering experience working with companies like Phillips. Peter ties everything together by bringing in project management experience from the public sector
MYBELL’s development has been funded by winning various product and business competitions: New York’s Next Top Makers, Engadget’s Insert Coin (inventors competition), and Miller Lite’s Tap the Future. The team also earned Editor’s choice at the World Maker Faire and a booth at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show after winning a pitch competition at New York’s Consumer Electronics week.
MYBELL is preparing to launch a Kickstarter campaign in January of 2014.