Cycling is one of the best ways to get around a city. Yet, when biking somewhere new, we often struggle with our phone or maps for on-the-go directions. Blubel is trying to make cycling more accessible through the development of a smart bicycle bell that knows its way around your city.
Founded by Sasha Afansieva, Blubel wants to make cycling more accessible to all so that cities can be cleaner, greener and safer; while also offering the ability for people to be happier and healthier. No more getting lost, diverted onto busy roads, or forced to stop at every junction to find your bearings. I don’t know about you, but this is definitely a device I need.
So how exactly does Blubel work? Using their app, you enter your destination and press ‘Go’. The bell will connect to your cell phone through Bluetooth and give you directions. LED gestures call out turn-by-turn directions as you bike. If you make a wrong turn, a new route will be found and Blubel will redirect you. Sitting on your handlebar, a quick glance down will tell you where you’re heading and when to turn; guiding you with simple, on-the-go directions. Once you’ve arrived, press ‘PARK’ on the app, Blubel will remember exactly where you left your bike.
The bell design makes it possible to slip the navigation device out of the holder, leaving behind a normal bike bell. This way, once you have arrived at your destination, you can take Blubel with you, popping it back into place when you leave. Blubel is also constantly evolving. Through the app, the system learns from your actions and the actions of other cyclists in the Blubel community. The best part? Blubel works anywhere in the world. Allowing the user to optimize their biking experience while traveling in cities they are not familiar with.
Blubel can be rung just like a traditional bike bell. Every time the bell is rung, it indicates an “alert point” on the supporting app and is stored in Blubel’s cloud technology. These “alert points” and other journey data are gathered and analysed to help calculate safe routes and highlight potential hazards. Through this, the safest, most cycle friendly routes are found and provided to the user. This collection of information gives you access to collective wisdom within the Blubel cycling community.
The app will also include health features; including information on calories burnt, distance biked, and speed. Blubel also plans to share their findings, in hopes of improving cycling in cities. The data collected could help with potential infrastructure changes and safety features for roadways. Blubel is available for advance order through their Kickstarter Campaign which has already hit its funding target and closes shortly. By continuing to develop the app and technology, this fully responsive navigation system will provide cyclists with the ultimate advantage in any city.