All bike horns are capable of sounding a honk. But a new digital bike horn that just hit the Internet is capable of sounding honks, honky-tonk, hip-hop, and basically anything else your heart desires.
Named the MYBELL, the recently launched Kickstarter campaign is meant to replace riders’ boring, chintzy, and usually too-quiet manual bike bells and horns for something more personal and effective.
On the personalization side, the possibilities are seemingly endless. Hypothetically, your MYBELL horn can sound just about any audio file you upload, like a kung-fu sound effect or a line from a famous political speech. You could load a snippet from DJ Snake & Lil Jon’s “Turn Down for What,” or perhaps a Homer Simpson “Doh!”
(The MYBELL also comes with a plain old bell sound that comes preloaded.)
Whatever you choose as your sound effect, the MYBELL’s creator says, the digital horn gets up to 105 decibels, about the same level as a jackhammer or a jet flying 1,000 feet above your head. Just tap the single, multifunction button on the MYBELL to play the sound. Since it’s not always necessary to send everyone in your path jumping out of his shoes, MYBELL does let you load a second, quieter horn, which can be triggered by a double-tap of the button.
The MYBELL also comes with an LED light, which can be programmed into different patterns. That part of the gadget is customizable, too, with several preinstalled patterns to choose from. One good one: The Knight Rider setting, the creators say, will make your bike glow like KITT from the 1980s TV show.
Since the new startup understands that not all cyclists are programmers, or even necessarily high-level computer users, the process for loading your own horn has been made simple. Just plug MYBELL into your computer with the provided USB cable and drag any sound file you want into the MYBELL drive that appears in Windows or Mac. That’s all there is to it.
MYBELL also charges via the same USB connection and can operate between charges for two days of average use, the equivalent of 1,000 honks or 10 straight hours of using the LEDs.
The MYBELL project began in 2013, but it’s now finally reaching the fine-tuning stage in design and functionality, so its creators have decided that the time is right to kick up some funding for a proper retail release. MYBELL still has a long way to go to reach its $90,000 crowdfunding goal, but pledgers have until August 1 to contribute.
A $99 pledge will get you a standard MYBELL at an early-adopter price, and a $119 pledge will get you the same, only in a color other than black. And there’s also the “Bike Crew” pledge. At that level, $449 garners five MYBELLs for you and your buddies to build a mobile chorus of digital bike horns.
The company says it expects to begin shipping devices in February of 2015.
Visit MYBELL’s Kickstarter page for more information, and start getting your funny, irritating, or ironic ideas for horn sounds ready now.
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