I usually leave all the bike gadgets for Derek but I so want this that I am jumping on it before he does: the AXA Smart Bell that actually doesn’t just ring but also broadcasts a message to the radio in the car that’s next to you.
Eben Weiss, AKA The Bike Snob, doesn’t usually go for gadgets either but he likes this one.
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.
Ringing your bell evidently sends a signal to a box hanging under your seat (which also acts as a tail light) when then broadcasts a message to nearby cars, FEDEX trucks and police cars in bike lanes, which can be heard “even when the radio is operating in AUX, CD, or MP3” using something called “RDS Technology.”
What a wonderful way to send polite and friendly messages to people who pass too close, block the bike lane or open doors in your face. The Bike Snob has come up with his own list of messages that he would like the device to transmit to the car, most of which we cannot copy and paste to a family friendly site like TreeHugger. “This could conceivably give us the near-telepathic ability to berate people with the most vile insults we can muster.”
Alas, It doesn’t exist. It is all a marketing campaign by a big Polish insurance company. “Smart bell was designed to promote safe behavior on the road and is not available for sale.” At the end, they use it as a come-on to collect information.
But wouldn’t it be nice.