Just over a year ago, we started working on the Blubel hardware device. At the time, it was just an vague idea – a dream to make cycling easier so that in turn will change our cities for the better. Defining the functionality was very much a user-led process (you can read about it in our previous blog) – we worked with some great partners to develop the physical appearance of the device.
Once we were confident with most of the key features, we worked with Morrama to develop the aesthetics. The entire process was very new to us: very exciting while also nerve-racking at the same time. The Morrama team helped to classify all the different design options, like the general feel and look of the device, how to integrate the bell functionality into the overall design, how it will be powered and recharged. The result was a beautiful design concept that integrated a smart device in a more traditional looking bell – slick and stylish.
We now needed to put this design into reality. We worked with Lloyd Pitt, a user experience designer, as well as Iterign, a design for manufacture agency, to prototype and develop Blubel from concepts to manufacturing specifications. Here the focus was on the details like how the device will clip into the mount, the thickness of the casing to ensure it is light yet sturdy, the materials to ensure it’s rainproof but can be manufactured in different colours. Through numerous iterations with various 3D printing and prototyping tools we refined the design.
Here are the results!
1. Traditional minimalism meets smart tech
We wanted Blubel to be combine old and new in a stylish accessory for any bike. That’s why it’s integrated in a beautiful brass bicycle bell yet it ingeniously connects to the rest of the cycling community to find safer journeys.
2. Colours to match your bike
Blubel comes in four more colours (for now…we will be adding more), because we know that bicycles come in different colours. In addition to the classic Charcoal, we have Ruby, Indigo, Fuchsia and Aquamarine! We will also have a choice between silver-toned and gold-toned brass bell, to fully customise your Blubel.
3. Secure and ergonomic
Together with the designers we have perfected the attachment mechanism for the device. Just position the B so that it looks like bike handlebars, then rotate 90 degrees so that it looks like a B. The spring loaded mechanism holds Blubel in place even in the most uneven road surfaces. Then once you’ve finished your journey, you just rotate it back and it gently springs out right into the palm of your hand. It’s shaped to fit in your hand like a smooth pebble too, so it’s a pleasure to hold.
4. Easy to recharge and long lasting
Blubel is easy to charge using a mini-USB. A full recharge should last 2 weeks.