When it comes to riding a bike, I’m not sure that many people put much thought into the bell, as riders have long gotten on with just having a basic little device that does nothing more than enable you to alert others to your presence. But Budapest-based Shoka hopes to replace your boring bell with a device suitable for modern riders.
A full list of features is available on their website, but of particular note are the Bluetooth 4.0, microphone, light sensor, accelerometer, 3 weeks of battery life, 8 different ringtones, and 360-degree joystick, a 400-meter theft-alert system, and so on. By 2017, the startup says that they intend to even offer a camera add-on.
The device itself is detachable and includes an LED-matrix display, capable of acting as a navigation tool. The joystick is there to allow riders to adjust the type and strength of noise projected, giving options that are needed to warn drivers and others that are a bit “friendlier”, which may be better for pedestrians.
Like many modern devices, the designers of the Shoka bell have made it so that it is compatible with your iPhone, already releasing an app for that platform. The app is designed to allow riders to plan rides, track rides (including CO2 savings, interestingly), see nearby riders, and connect with Instagram, for the especially social crowd.
Shoka intends to follow in the footsteps of a number of recent hardware startups by soon launching an Indiegogo campaign. However, they differ in that they have actually already attained a solid amount of traction and external funding. With regards to traction, co-founder and CEO Daniel Falus tells me that they already have 3,000 pre-orders for the bell, which will cost 79 Euro for early backers and 120 when it goes on sale later this year. On the funding side, Shoka recently revealed that they have picked up an undisclosed amount from Singaporean hardware accelerator Ruvento, money that they intend to put towards their initial production run and bringing the product to the global market.