This project's funding goal was not reached on August 1, 2014.
About this project
What's Next for MYBELL?
For more information please email us at Peter@mybell.co, visit us at Mybell.co and check out the video below.
A version of our Kickstarter video with CLOSED CAPTIONS is available here.
The Closed Captions link above has been added for our Hearing Impaired & International supporters. Closed Captioning available in English, Español, Deutsch, 中文, French, and русский.
Deaf Cyclists and MYBELL
Kids and MYBELL
Unleash Your Creativity
Why should we be limited in our options? The award winning MYBELL empowers users to decide what sound and light combination works best for them. We don't live in a one-sound-fits-all world. Different sounds elicit different responses depending on geography and culture. People know their local streets, paths, and roads better than anyone else which is why a product should exist that can be customized and programmed for their environment. Users might choose a particular sound (“Truck Horn”) or light pattern (“Knight Rider”) because they believe their selection will provide increased utility or because they want to be unique and emphasize their personality.
A traditional 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. Perhaps you might want your MYBELL to sound like a traditional bell – but Louder!
All the Bells & Whistles
There is a computer on MYBELL's custom designed circuit board which stores Two (2) user selected digital sound files and pre-selected lighting patterns. The sound files can be whatever you want – we envision one for urgent warnings and the other for a friendlier warning – imagine an old lady 20 feet away.
Do you have music on your iPhone? Those songs are digital sound files.
MYBELL is Loud! We have recorded audio output upwards of 105 decibels. You can lower the volume and sounds digitally if that is too loud for you.
MYBELL is Bright! We are using LEDs that can reach upwards of 110 lumens. Guess what? They are programable too. That means that you can set pulse patterns of your choosing. We like a pattern which we call Knight Rider because our bikes look like Kitt from the show - this makes us very happy.
This is How We Do It
Drag, Drop & Roll
We have put a lot of thought into the user experience and have made MYBELL really easy to use. Riders can select their sound file, drag their sound file, drop that sound file in the MYBELL drive, and you are ready to roll. MYBELL's battery charges via the same water-resistant USB receptacle.
One Button Controls Everything
A single button controls the computer inside of MYBELL. This button can be triggered by pushing forward or downward to provide easy access to the Sounds. Holding the button down will turn MYBELL ON which also allows you to cycle (no pun intended) through the different settings:
- Day On allows riders to trigger sounds with a Single tap to access the first digital file – we imagine this sound would be used for imminent danger. While a Double tap accesses the second digital file, we imagine this could be used to project a friendlier sound – imagine an old lady 20 feet away ahead who you wouldn't want to scare but would like to provide a friendly heads up.
- Night On which activates High Intensity LEDs. The LEDs on MYBELL pulse to user selected patterns while also projecting sounds just like in Day On (above).
- OFF - turns MYBELL off to conserve power.
One Button makes MYBELL super easy to use - even a baby can do it! (see Kids and MYBELL above)
MYBELL fits on ANY Bike or Scooter
MYBELL works with nearly any bike. Our strap allows MYBELL to fit over most handle bars even Bike Shares. Thieves won't get their hands on MYBELL because MYBELL goes wherever you go. It is as easy as undoing the strap.
MYBELL - $99
Receive a MYBELL before anyone else. Early bird gets the worm. At a price lower than anticipated Retail.
MYBELL in Alternative Colors - $119
We will communicate with backers at this level to find out which colors are the most popular – probably primary colors like blue, red etc. We will crowdsource and select the most in demand colors.
MYBELL in Color + Two (2) Custom Optimized Audio Files - $129
Backers at this level will receive Two (2) Custom User Selected Audio files of their choosing. MYBELL will be working with Audio Engineer & Designer Simen Solvang to create, mix and master your sounds! Simen has long track record working in Studios here in Brooklyn. See below.As for the Colors please see above.
Backers who opt in for our Reflective T-Shirts by HEISEL All standard sizes available for Men & Women: Small, Medium, Large, and Extra-Large – $25
The MYBELL Story
Peter was riding his bike and almost got into an accident when someone stood blocking his path. He rang his bell, but to no avail—the pedestrian either didn’t hear or didn’t care. It dawned on him that this was not the first time this had happened to him or to many of his friends. Peter visited a few shops and was not satisfied with what he saw because he didn't believe that an Air-Horn should be the only alternative.
We believe an alternative to an Air-Horn could create a more pleasant exchange between cyclists and non-cyclists, thus encouraging more people to make the switch. MYBELL seeks to not only provide a new platform to exhibit creativity and increased utility but would also encourage more people to ride.
MYBELL entered New York's Next Top Makers competition (an inventor's competition) in early 2013 and won. The rest is history as the product and company has bootstrapped its way to this point by winning various competitions.
We have used the prize money from New York's Next Top Makers, Miller Lite's Tap the Future Business Innovation competition, Engadget’s Insert Coin (Inventor's competition), NYC’s Consumer Electronics Pitch Night, and the 2014 New York Design Awards for R&D.
MYBELL has evolved over the past year. We have worked through component selection, the creation of our own custom circuit board, programing firmware, and modifications to the housing that have made MYBELL stronger, sleeker and critically important manufacturable.
Take a Peak Under MYBELL's Hood
MYBELL Production Timeline
What will the money be spent on?
To build MYBELL and make it accessible to the world we need to pay for Tooling (the process of making a mold) which is necessary to create the molded plastic pieces you see here. We have 3D printed the prototypes which are great, however each MYBELL would be prohibitively expensive. In addition some of the money raised would go toward various R&D costs – Hardware is not cheap!
Who is MYBELL?
Peter Pottier had the idea for MYBELL. He took an idea for a customizable digital horn and created what is today MYBELL. On his journey to create MYBELL he joined up with his friend Valentin (see below).
Valentin Siderskiy is an Electrical Engineer with over 6 years experience working with sensors, actuators, and firmware programing. Valentin has worked for companies such as Phillips building medical devices and has experience in electro-mechanical, biomedical, and pure-science applications.
Steve Remy is a mechanical engineer with over 20 years experience in taking consumer electronic products from concept to production. He has done work for companies ranging from giants such as Motorola to individual entrepreneurs. Steve has particular expertise with designing injection-molded parts and other housing components for electronic devices that can handle the kind of conditions that MYBELL will see on a daily basis.
We are riders who know that getting noticed is a concern for cyclists, pedestrians, and drivers everywhere. No one wants to be on either end of a bike accident. Let's be safe and have some fun while we're at it.
There are many people we would like to thank who have helped us get to this point, which would make this list a bit longwinded. Here are some of the people who helped us create this Campaign:
- Video by Chris Sanders
- Video credits to Charly Then & Yujin Yohe
- Logo & Graphic Design by Alexandra Menglide
- Graphic Design by Zulmilena Then
- Music by Simen Solvang
Risks and challenges
The key to making MYBELL a successful product is making it easy to use, as well as functional. We will be continuing to test prototypes and will refine the final design based on feedback from a variety of user types.
Mechanical & Electrical Engineering
MYBELL is going to see some harsh conditions – bumpy roads, rainy weather, and (hopefully not too often!) crashes. Designing a product that can handle this abuse is always a challenge, and will require prototype testing and perhaps some iterations. Valentin, MYBELL's CTO and Electrical Engineer, has worked to design medical devices that keep patients alive and is well aware of the importance of making a robust product. Before MYBELL reaches backers hands, it will have been tested, battered, redesigned, reprogrammed and so forth until it meets our stringent requirements. MYBELL’s mechanical engineer, Steve, has plenty of experience designing exactly this type of product, so we have a very good degree of confidence that the design will be successful.
Another common pitfall is the transition from design engineering to mass production. Again, Steve has done this many times with factories based in the USA and in China, and we will work closely with our vendors to maintain the design vision while keeping MYBELL affordable and easy to manufacture.
Anyone who backs this project is sure to get the highest quality materials and construction at a known pledge level. We will also continue to update you on our process and progress.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Yes. However, we do urge responsible MYBELL’ing – please do not upload anything that might be socially irresponsible.
Yes. You can transfer these standard files into MYBELL.
MYBELL plays at a 22kHz sample rate. (Equivalent to FM radio quality)
Yes. You can control how loud your sounds are digitally.
We have reached 105dB however we are more confident in reporting 96dB, much louder than the average bike bell. How loud is that? 90dB = Underground train, 104 dB Chainsaw.
No. No need, MYBELL has a rechargeable battery inside. Plug the MYBELL into the USB drive and in 4 hours it’s fully charged again.
Short answer: Two days.
Long answer: We have optimized our energy consumption of lights, sound, and microcontroller power so that MYBELL would last the average commuter two days. MYBELL can do more than 1000 consecutive clicks and provide over 10 hours of consecutive lights at full charge.
4 hours. MYBELL takes 4 hours to recharge via the micro-USB port.
Two words: Speaker and battery. We need a big speaker to get high quality, LOUD sound reproduction, and we need a big battery to drive the speaker and the super bright LEDs.
Most electronic bells are monotone horns, or buzzers. With MYBELL you can project any sound you want at high volumes. Facilitating that took a little bit of real estate.
Yes. MYBELL comes with preprogrammed light patterns, but you will be able to upload your own through our site, using a MIDI protocol.
Yes, but don’t drop it in a puddle. Our design requirement is a minimum of IP63 water resistance rating (roughly equivalent to heavy rain), and we’re shooting for IP65 (roughly equivalent to a hose down). Check out this link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IP_Code
110 lumens, that's bright.
Yes. Both have customizable sounds. Each will have default sounds on them - $99 a bell and car horn. For the other tier we will work with sound files you provide and possible suggest to maximize and boost their ability. Not all digital sound files are optimized which might effect the audio output.
Rubber plugs and covers are great... until they fall off or get torn off. We have selected a water-resistant USB receptacle so that a cover will not be required. Please see the image in the specifications section.
Yes. MYBELL's LEDs can be a Head Light!!! That is the beautiful aspect of a completely programable platform, it can be anything you want both audibly (sound) and visually (light). We have selected very powerful High-Intensity LEDs (110 lumens).
- (39 days)