The bicycle bell is about is get a major shake-up, transforming the basic tring-tringer into a high-tech multi-tasker.
“Just how does it multi-task?” we hear you ask. Well, the bell’s designers sum up its attributes this way: “Be heard, be seen, be secure, find your way with Shoka Bell, the ultimate bicycle bell.” Yes, if it made a decent cup of coffee it would be the full package.
The bell can sound up to eight different tones, and you can choose from custom sounds or download your own choices. It’s easy to choose the sound you want using a joystick as your riding.
“Honk for a car, politely ding for pedestrians, or even record your own message,” say the Shoka team. (We doubt your messages will be censored, so perhaps it’s best to use caution and civilized language–“Get out of my way!” might be safer than the words you have in your head as a pedestrian’s stepping off the curb right in front of you.)
Cleverly, the Shoka Bell adjusts its volume according to the environment, too, so you won’t give old Mrs. Greene a coronary as you bike past her quiet country lane and ring a cheery greeting. It also sounds twice as loud as run-of-the-mill bike bells, so people know you mean business when you do indeed mean business. There’s also a motion sensor that’s left in the clamp on your handlebars — your Shoka Bell will alert you as soon as someone moves your bike by ringing and flashing lights to a range of up to 250 meters.
Safety was a prime motivator when inventor Daniel Falus created the Shoka Bell, and you can see that in action when you try the system’s navigation prompts when you connect it to your smartphone. You can select safe biking routes, see directions displayed on the bell in LED lights and hear audio alerts, and get real-time warnings for busy intersections.
In true community spirit, you can also access info and suggestions from local cyclists to make your ride more fun and also safer. (You’ll hear about that infamous bike-eating pothole before you disappear into it.)
The Shoka app lets you keep notes in a cycling diary so you remember favorite routes, hills you’d rather not encounter again, good stops for refreshments and other highlights. You can also track your distance, speed, and more.
The biking community is helping Shoka learn and improve, too. “By collecting data from users’ braking patterns and bell rings, Shoka Bell helps you better navigate cities by deciding the safest routes and avoiding busy junctions that require constant bell use or braking,” say the brains behind the bell.
The Shoka Bell is made of metal and is weatherproof, and it’s designed to fit all types of handlebars. You can choose from six colors: blue, yellow, green, black, red and purple. The battery lasts an amazing 200 hours–there’s no one/off switch, and the bell knows when you’re on your bike.
Intrigued? You can follow Shoka Bell’s progress here–the company hopes to have these babies on bikes in March 2017.