Pedestrian Bell: The Urban Gadget We’ve Been Waiting For

  • Living in an urban area has all sorts of advantages, but every urbanite knows the frustration of moving through a crowded street or on a busy sidewalk when you’re in a hurry. A couple from Tokyo comes up with a long-awaited solution — a little bell for pedestrians to notify others they have to go out of the way.

    Especially runners have a hard time moving through busy urban areas. Not only do they have to make sure to be seen by others, on shared pathways they also have to signal to people in front of them that they’re coming along. They’re the main target group of the Runbell, a “frustration-free” gadget for people to let others know they’re blocking the sidewalk. The stylish, light-weight bell looks like an adornment and comes in a chique little box. The project got already fully funded through Kickstarter, with almost 700 backers giving around $25,000.

    Runbell Runbell

    The finger bell also calls to mind an experiment by National Geographic in Washingtion DC, where a walkway on a busy street was divided into a slow lane for people using their smartphones, and a fast lane for people in a hurry. We’re obviously dealing with some kind of urban trend.