A Hungarian startup that has invented a bicycle bell promising to “turn your bicycle into a smartbike” is launching its Kickstarter campaign in September after spending a year hatching up the concept.
The bell’s developers, whose aim is to make cycling safer, are publishing the test version of the app powering Shoka, which will measure cycled distances and praise and shower the rider with “treats”, will be published in the course of the running week and the first electronic units are expected to arrive within weeks, Shoka’s head Dániel Falus said. The startup wants to begin the fundraising campaign in September with the electronics already fitted into its plastic casing professionally made with a 3D printer. The project will have to be highly convincing to raise the $100 000 needed to begin mass production from cyclists, he said.
Named Shoka Bell, the invention is far more than a bicycle bell: it will navigate the rider, let off a signal if someone else is trying to push our bike away and give a sound if somebody we know is nearby. A controller resembling an analogue joystick at the back of the gadget will serve to ring the bell, the strength of the toll depending on how far the rider pushes the arm and its sound on the direction.
Barely larger than a bike lamp, the Shoka Bell is packed with technology: on its top, LED lights forming icons will show the direction, with a controller fitted to dim the light at night and remain visible in daytime. As soon as Shoka’s software will “learn” the city – such as when cyclists push their brakes most often and the hardest, it will also be able to display warnings. The bell will also include a microphone to adjust the toll’s sound to the surroundings, and a barometer will also be put on the gadget’s motherboard to measure altitude, Mr. Falus explained.
The first developer’s examples to be sold in the campaign starting from September will be available for $500 (HUF 140 000), while the more patient can be among the first to order the bell for $79 (HUF 22 000). The gadget’s regular shop price will be $150, but the first 100 cyclists who complete 1000 kilometres will the app will be given one for free.