Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Maybe technology really will save us.

For thousands of years, cyclists have longed to be able to communicate directly with the creatures who inhabit the motorized death boxes that terrorize our streets.  Oh sure, we've used our voices, middle fingers, and occasionally u-locks to great effect.  However, none of these can truly penetrate the sheet metal in which the typical motoring moron is encased.

But not anymore!  For thanks to recent advances in technology, we now have the AXA Smart Bell (or at least a video for it):

We've seen the word "innovative" bandied about in the bicycle industry for far too long.  Yes, every misshapen crabon tube or new decal color(way) is hailed as an innovation.  But this?  This is something that warrants the appellation:

In fact, it just may be the biggest innovation in bikes since the wheel.

Okay, I know what you're thinking: "This is just one of those stupid smartphone bells, isn't it?"

("Look!  Now my phone's a bell that can run run out of batteries!")

Nope.  If we're to believe the video--and Sweet Lobster on High really, really, really want to believe it--what this allows you to do is ring the bell:

Which then travels to a box directly under your scranus and/or vulvanus:

And is in turn broadcast inside the car next to you:

Right through the sound system!!!

I'm sorry, I'm all choked up.

I have to stop and dry my eyes.

Thank you.

Anyway, do you know what this means?  It means we're now this close [indicates tiny distance with fingers] to being able to infiltrate drivers' cabins with our voices and say to them whatever we want.  Just imagine the possibilities:

--"I'm on your right;'
--"You're violating my right-of-way;"
--"Please look up from your phone;"
--"Where did you get your driver's license, your own asshole?"
--"Get fucked, you frumunda cheese-eating piece of crap!"

In fact, it's entirely conceivable you might need to utilize each of these in that exact order in the course of a typical interaction.

And just imagine how amazing it would be to use this on people in the bike lane:

A "new way of communication?"  Now that's an understatement:

This could conceivably give us the near-telepathic ability to berate people with the most vile insults we can muster.

Of course, as an aging bike blogger I know nothing about so-called RDS technology so I don't know if you can really make it do any of that, but I'm assuming these clever millennials with their fixies and their hack-a-thons can make it happen.

This gives me hope for the future.


Anonymous said...

I want this to work so bad, I'd even buy an ipieceofcrap if I needed to.

wishiwasmerckx said...

Podium two days in a row! I'm really moving up in gc.

boys on the hoods said...

Third!! ring the bell!!

McFly said...

Hope springs infernal.

recumbent conspiracy theorist said...

In with the front scranuses.

N/A said...

Bungee cord a cow bell to your handlebars.

Anonymous said...

Top 10? Read it, too.

Anonymous said...

Any chance the bell people can add lasers?

wle said...

RDS? so all the carmorons will be listening avidly to CCC (cyclists complaint channel)?

Anonymous said...

My wife says hi.

Grump said...

I seem to remember that 20 some years ago, some guy came out with a horn that worked on compressed air held in a waterbottle type device. You pumped it up with your floor pump, and it was good for 5-10 extremely loud Honks. If only it could blast at 160 db's it might jar an airhead out of their complacency. The limited number of honks would prevent cyclists from abusing it.

Doug Cornelius said...

Works in Poland:

In the US, I don't think this will pass the FCC broadcasting rules.

Anonymous said...

From what I see on the road this thing will only work if it will text "ding ding" to the drivers thumbing their phones.

Chazu said...

Call me cynical, but I would expect motorists to willfully mow down cyclists equipped with these devices after just one "ring" of the bell.

What they'll say: "Oh, officer, I heard the bell and tried to move over for the precious cyclist, but I couldn't see him and moved in the wrong direction."

What they'll mean: "Come on! This creature on a bike interrupted my favorite song! Interrupt me once, shame on you, interrupt me twice, tire treads on you."

Just sayin said...

You do realize that if this technology actually works, it will be immediately co-opted by dbags in ricers harassing innocent females.

Unknown said...

vsk said ...

When Quasi happy, Quasi Ring Bell !!!

I wonder if the driver has to be tuned to 92.66 FM to hear it.

Nothing makes contact like an optimally sized piece of rebar.


leroy said...

Someone, I'm not saying who, has asked me to ask if the AXA Smart Bell has talking dog voice recognition capability.

He says the prospective uses are limitless.

In the meantime, I'll continue to yell at crosstown drivers glancing at their phones to stop streaming porn.

I have no idea what they're looking at, but the porn cessation request always gets their attention.

Cat 404 e-Racer said...

w/ the AXA bell, every cyclist can be Sam's dog Harvey.

LX said...

I've been driving in my pickup truck without a horn for a while. My solution was to install a CB radio with a PA speaker under the hood. I simply LOVE yelling at people on their phones. I also love yelling at cyclists, dog walkers, people waiting for the bus, etc. I just might have to install a CB on my bike too. 10-4 breaker breaker, c'mon!

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

Top twenty Scranus again and I took a late lunch!

Anonymous said...

why aren't the video people wearing helments???

Lieutenant Oblivious said...

+1 @Doug Cornelius, Anonymous@1:53 and Just sayin said@2:15. While Hair Furor has dictated that 2 existing regulations must be eliminated for every new regulation that is added, the FCC that wanted to sanction Steven Colbert for calling Trump's mouth what it really is will regulate the AXA bell out of existence in the USA. Unless AXA the insurance company is going to donate heavily to Banana Republican PACs to make it happen of course.

Anonymous said...

I a little doubtful of the effectiveness of this bell at reducing car on bike accidents. Usually if you have enough time to ring a bell to warn a motorist that they are encroaching on you, you would have enough time to avoid the accident. It may even freak out the driver wondering what the fuck that sounds is coming out of their radio and cause them to be even more distracted. I'm a seller. sorry.

McFly said...

Maybe the UCI could employ this technology to big tours and Red Hook Crits and shit so the cyclists could yell at the chase vehicles to not kill them so hard.

1904 Cadardi said...

Can the AXA bell just broadcast a constant "Oh for fucksake, stop looking at your damn phone and drive already!"

Olle Nilsson said...

I'll take seven.

Of course, living in the land of Terrence and Philip, every driver will be wishing ass cancer on me for having that transmitter hanging under my arse.

Il Pirata es Mort said...

Grump @1:45

Thanks for the afternoon chuckle. I get electronics tested at 150 dB at that is right next to F-15 jet engine loud. Sound measurement in dB is on a log scale and by the time you get to 160 I believe you are in another world altogether. PS I asked the testing house if they could run a third shift to help us out on schedule and he said "Listen. The folks in this neighborhood hate us already."

160 dB on a bike is the stuff dreams are made of!

dnk said...

I dunno. You ever read a newspaper comments section following a story about bicycling?

There's some pretty fucking insane hatred for cyclists.

How is someone "rolling coal" going to take it when a cyclist comes ringa-ding-dinging over their pickup cab radio?

How is Dorothy Rabinowitz going to take it?

How is this guy, ready to whack people with a tire iron over a parking space, going to take it?

Drock said...

Ding ding

Mister Microphone said...

Hey good looking, we'll be back to pick you up later.

bad boy of the sooth said...

Wish I had a bell that would alert us before a tornado would hit.

Dr. Erwin Corey said...

The AXA would be worth it if it's backup fail safe device is launching a missle. I wish someone would invent an ASS identification device, sometimes when you're riding you inadvertently miss something on the sidewalk. PS. Odds on getting driver's to stop looking st porn while driving, bewtween nil and none.

suomynonA said...

The biggest question is why was the video inside out?

A vintage Peugeot bike's brand decal can be briefly but clearly seen to be so and the hyped up happy rider at the end is tear arsing along with the drive on the left hand side of his fixie.

Number plates on motor vehicles are also reversed.

I call on the Global Snobby Community to investigate to help explain this strange anomaly and those with local knowledge to ID those plates so the locale of the video shoot can be determined. Our findings could then turned over to CERN to really drill down into the heart of the mystery.

Hill Slayer said...

Interesting that this was invented by a life insurance company, and doubly interesting that, in that context, the video was made entirely without helmets. Axa even practices "corporate responsibility each day," blah blah. Is this the new victim blaming helmet replacer?

Die free said...

Hope? Youz GOT HOPE? Fk that didn't get is very far last time.

Johnnie Cockroach said...

If the ruble won't stick, to the maker of shtick, you must acquit.

Anonymous said...

You've been able to yell obscenities in cars since the early 80's:

Dont recall ever telling someone to "Get fucked, you frumunda cheese-eating piece of crap!", when I was 10 years old, but I wish I would have.

BobbyG said...

"I seem to remember that 20 some years ago, some guy came out with a horn that worked on compressed air held in a waterbottle type device. You pumped it up with your floor pump, and it was good for 5-10 extremely loud Honks. If only it could blast at 160 db's it might jar an airhead out of their complacency. The limited number of honks would prevent cyclists from abusing it."

Delta AirZound! Been using them for 24 years. One on each bike. An f-in lifesaver! The new ones use a metal cannister. Lasts about 30 seconds, or 30 one-second blasts. The new metal ones are less affected by sub-freezing weather.

Can be pumped on the road with a frame or mini pump.

You can see it in the first 5 seconds of this video:

I don't have a specific video with the horn blasts, but here are some videos of my commutes.

I realize Manhattanites may not recognize what I'm doing as bike commuting/riding because my life is not in constant peril, but that is in fact what I am doing.

Anonymous said...

No bell in the world will help those weaving "cyclists" in that video.

Dan said...

As a NYC bike commuter I believe (from observation) that if I deign to interrupt the sound system of the surging mattress-boxes around me I am likely to elicit a response closer to being run off the road than yielded to. However, I love the idea of hijacking those living-room-scale sound systems!

I would definitely buy this just to piss drivers off.

I would record my own messages if I could:

1. You are terrorizing me.
2. God, you are scaring me--I don't want to die.
3. Would it be ok if I drive around your kids like this?
4. By all means, cut me off so you can wait at that red light.
5. What Would Jesus Do--mow down cyclists?
6. Your looking at your phone is clearly more important than my continuing to live.
7. Would it be traumatic if you murdered someone?

I tend to avoid the profane escalating comments and go straight for guilt and shame, but hey, I'm a psychotherapist.


Anonymous said...

Doesn't work if they don't have their radio on...

Anonymous said...

... or have switched off traffic reports....

Anonymous said...

... or have a life, and aren't driving in NYC ...

Alan said...

Probably using this Adafruit FM transmitter and an Arduino:
'RDS' is the song info that FM radio stations display— so conceivably you could use this to make a driver's radio display say 'YOU SUCK'.

But it'd only work if they're listening to FM radio.

Anonymous said...

This whole design hinges on the idea that the driver that you are ringing the bell at is actually listening to the radio...

and they aren't; who listens to the radio anymore? Besides talk radio, or some trendy new Trap/Hip-hop beat where I'm sure a bell sound would fit in nicely.

But chances are the driver is using an aux cord...or talking on their cell phone.

Never mind the fact that I am currently aware of this product; and if I was driving along and my radio made an un-expected bell noise my first thought wouldn't be, "Oh, there must be a bike in my vicinity, I should be careful."

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Unknown said...

I seem to remember that 20 some years ago, some guy came out with a horn that worked on compressed air held in a waterbottle type device. You pumped it up with your floor pump, and it was good for 5-10 extremely loud Honks. If only it could blast at 160 db's it might jar an airhead out of their complacency. The limited number of honks would prevent cyclists from abusing it slope

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Sorry Not Sorry lyrics said...

The AXA would be worth it if it's backup fail safe device is launching a missle. I wish someone would invent an ASS identification device, sometimes when you're riding you inadvertently miss something on the sidewalk. PS. Odds on getting driver's to stop looking st porn while driving, bewtween nil and none.