2014 New York Design Awards - Deadlines

13 May 2014 - Extended Deadline
14 May 2014 - Judging
17 May 2014 - Finalists announced
17 May 2014 - Rating Closes
20 May 2014 - Awards Presentation




Project Overview

MYBELL is the world’s 1st customizable bicycle bell – think ringtones for your bike. Specifically, MYBELL is a programmable audio and visual platform that empowers users to choose how they want to sound and look (especially at night). MYBELL uses a high power speaker to play sound files at high volumes and three high intensity LEDs to provide visibility at night. Users can upload their selected digital sound files MYBELL empowers people by offering freedom of choice which captivates imaginations. As socially responsible individuals we should encourage cycling and freedom of choice. MYBELL provides a range of options to match any environment which will change the way bikers and mobile scooters are perceived and recognized. MYBELL will embolden people to try sustainable means of transportation which will play a part in making the world a better place.




Brooklyn Based Bootstrappers.

Project Brief

MYBELL empowers users to decide what sound and light combination works best for them. We don't live in a one sound fits all world. Different sounds elicit different responses depending on geography and culture. In a modern urban environment this can change every few blocks. People know their local streets, paths, and roads better than anyone else which is why a product should exist that can be customized for their environment. Users might choose a particular sound (“on your left”) or light pattern (“Dazzle”) because they believe their selection will provide increased utility or because they desire to be unique and emphasize their personality. As biking increases globally, people will look for ways to make themselves stand out. Consumers already expect products to be customized, we think this should be extended to their audible and visual signals as well.

MYBELL is also louder than a traditional bell which tops off at 70 decibels. We have hit peaks of 96 decibels. MYBELL is at least three times louder than the traditional bell because decibels are logarithmic.Traditionalists can use MYBELL to play the cha-ching sound that is emitted from a traditional bell but louder.

Project Innovation/Need

Environmental studies have reported that sound pollution in urban environments can top out at 80 decibels which would drown out a traditional bell. Yelling to tell drivers or pedestrians to get out of your way is unpleasant and detracts from the experience of riding a bike or scooter because it raises tension. Signaling vehicles and pedestrians with a mechanism allows riders to have a more relaxed and enjoyable experience. There are also people who do not respond appropriately to the traditional bell because they do not respect the sound a traditional bell signifies or because they do not hear it.

The two audio clips are selected with a single tap or double tap of the button. The Single-Tap will trigger a sound for urgent situations and the DoubleTap will trigger a friendlier sound for less urgent situations (old lady creeping into your path 20ft away). There are three modes which are cycled through by holding down the button: 1) Off 2) Day-On that permits users to trigger sound file and 3) Night-On that turns on the pulsing high intensity LEDs and permits users to trigger the sound files.

Design Challenge

Designing our product for manufacture, programing a specific microcontroller, designing our own custom circuit board, picking sourceable surface mount electronic components, weather proofing, and creating product features that matched exact product needs were all very challenging.


Biking is more sustainable then alternative forms of transportation. MYBELL will encourage more people to ride bicycles which in of it self will lower the carbon foot print.

This award celebrates creative and innovative design for either a component or overall product. Consideration given to aspects that relate to human usage, aesthetics, selection of components and materials, and the resolution of assembly, manufacturing and the overall function.
More Details