Navigating on two wheels is a challenge, whether your vehicle of choice is a bicycle of a motorcycle. You don’t have the luxury of a large touchscreen mounted directly in front of you to direct you to your destination. You are too busy dealing with shifters, brake levers, and steering to take your hands off the handlebars for very long.
Blubel is a wireless enabled smart device designed especially for the needs of bicycle riders. The Bluetooth device mounts to the handlebars, serving as both a bike bell and crowdsourced navigation system. It pairs with the rider’s smartphone, which is stored safely away while riding, to provide the bicyclist with directions on the go. If you make a wrong turn, it will recalculate the proper route to the destination. It even remembers where you left your bike so you can find it easily later.
The crowdsourcing comes into play whenever you ring your bell. It works very much like Waze. Blubel takes note of where other riders in the area ring their bells. Then it uses that information to help you avoid congestion and possible hazards. A brief glance downward toward your handlebars lets you know where your destination is and what your next turn will be. Colored LED lights on the Blubel device guide you alongthe way. Blue lights point toward your destination. Green lights indicate an upcoming turn and are accompanied by an audible alert. A flashing yellow lets you know if there’s a hazard you need to be aware of.
You can customize your preferences through the Blubel app. You can personalize routes or follow curated routes that take you past noteworthy sites. Bluebel can help you avoid roadwork or air pollution. It will also track your time, distance, speed, and calories burned.
Bluebel has started a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter. The basic black Blubel costs about $72 with limited edition colors available for a few dollars more. Delivery of rewards are scheduled for the end of 2016. A Blubel seems like the perfect accessory for anybody who rides a bicycle on a regular basis.