More than just a bell, this accessory makes your ordinary bike a smart bike

The trusty bell on the handlebar of your bike is probably a bit low-tech, certainly compared to some of the smart bikes that have come on the market recently. The Shoka Bell gives your bell, and therefore your bike, a fast upgrade to make it safer, more visible, and generally smarter form of transportation.

Currently a Kickstarter campaign, the Shoka Bell fixes on to the handlebars using a magnetic mount, and at its most basic, makes a noise to let everyone know you’re coming. Rather than just one sound, there are eight to choose from, each suitable for a different situation. Cleverly, the volume automatically adjusts according to what’s going on around you, so there’s no need to blast the eardrums out of a pedestrian on their afternoon walk. When it’s needed, the Shoka Bell blasts out a tone that’s twice as loud as a regular bell. You can even create your own tones, and it’s all controlled by a simple joystick.

The Shoka Bell’s functionality doesn’t stop there. Using a clearly visible pattern display, the surface doubles as a navigation alert system, pointing you in the right direction when it’s linked to your phone. Interestingly, instead of directing you along the fastest route to your destination, the app will chose the safest route, an important consideration when you’re on two wheels. Additionally, it’ll connect you to the Shoka Bell community, where you’ll get insight into the best paths from local cyclists, and real-time updates on traffic conditions.

Beyond this, there’s a speed sensitive light on the front that will automatically switch on in low-light conditions, and the mounting system doubles as a security measure. It’ll stamp the bike’s last location on the map, and alert the main unit if it registers movement. Future development plans include those to link the Shoka Bell up with connected cars to include location information for drivers.

Related: How to choose your first mountain bike

The Shoka Bell itself has a battery that will last for 200 hours before needing a recharge, while the handlebar mount will stay active for two months before needing more power. There’s a micro-USB port on each one. Made from aluminum, the whole unit is waterproof, and comes in several colors. To get a Shoka Bell you’ll need to pledge at least $100, depending on whether you manage to grab an early bird offer, and the campaign closes at the end of August. The goal has already been reached, so expect the Shoka Bell to ring your doorbell in March next year.

Product Review

Step aside, Sonos: Riva's Concert is the best smart speaker you can buy

The Riva Concert series speaker is a fantastic, small-profile smart speaker with Alexa integration, truly excellent sound, and great looks, making it the perfect addition to your kitchen, living room, or bedroom.
Outdoors

Google Maps makes it easier than ever to find a Lime bike or scooter

Google Maps has added a new feature that helps you find a Lime bike or scooter in just a few taps. The feature currently works in 11 U.S. cities served by Lime, with more coming next year.
Photography

These are the best action cameras money can buy

Action cameras are great tools for capturing videos of your everyday activities, whether it's a birthday party or the steepest slope you've ever descended on your snowboard. These are the best money can buy.
Gaming

How you can give your PS4 a fresh start with a factory reset

Learn the many ways you can factory reset your PS4. From reverting your settings to factory to doing a full wipe and reinstalling the latest PlayStation firmware, we cover it all here, step by step.
Emerging Tech

There’s a new lab-grown meat startup on the block — and it has a secret weapon

Aleph Farms is developing lab-grown steaks with the same flavor, shape, texture, and structure as the real thing using beef cells isolated from living cows. Coming soon to a store near you?
Smart Home

This A.I.-enabled tech brings cutting-edge automation to grocery stores

Takeoff Technologies is working to make grocery deliveries fast, accurate, and convenient using A.I.-enabled technology to augment robotic grocery orders that can be completed in minutes.
Product Review

This was 3D printed? With the Anycubic Photon, you can't tell

Never mind the fact that the Anycubic Photon 3D printer only costs 500 bucks. In terms of sheer print quality, this printer is on the same level as machines that cost six times as much.
Emerging Tech

The best 3D printers of 2018

On the hunt for a new 3D printer? We've got your back. Whether you're a beginner or a seasoned veteran, this list of the best 3D printers has what you're looking for.
Emerging Tech

Postmates’ to roll out Minion-like autonomous delivery robots in 2019

Postmates is about to employ a cute little robot to work alongside its human delivery personnel. Called Serve, the wheel-based bot can carry items weighing up to 50 pounds and has a range of 30 miles.
Emerging Tech

The best drone photos from around the world

Most of today's drones come equipped with high-end cameras, which are quickly revolutionizing the world of aerial photography as we know it. Here are some of the best drone photos from around the world.
Emerging Tech

Are e-cigarettes safe? Here’s what the most recent science says

Ecigarettes are widely regarded and advertised as a healthier alternative to cigarettes for people who are trying to kick the smoking habit. How safe are these cigarette alternatives? We went deep into the recent scientific literature to…
Emerging Tech

Thrill-seekers will be able to pilot themselves in a giant drone as soon as 2019

Want to hitch a ride on a giant drone? The startup Lift Aircraft is gearing up to let paying customers fly its 18-rotor giant drones over assorted scenic landscapes across the U.S.
Emerging Tech

CRISPR gene therapy regulates hunger, staves off severe obesity in mice

Researchers from UC San Francisco have demonstrated how CRISPR gene editing can be used to prevent severe obesity in mice, without making a single edit to the mouse's genome. Here's how.
Emerging Tech

Capture app saves money by 3D scanning objects using iPhone’s TrueDepth camera

Capture is a new iPhone app created by the Y Combinator-backed startup Standard Cyborg. It allows anyone to perform 3D scans of objects and share them with buddies. Here's how it works.