Pingbell: The solution to find your lost bicycle by simply pinging your bell!


Imagine after a nice night of going out when you decide to go home and you have to search for your bicycle! That is very annoying and time consuming! I think a lot of students have experienced this problem! There are mobile apps available that can help you to find your car back, but what will a bicyclist do when he or she lost the bicycle somewhere? There is a solution: Pingbell!

Frolic a design studio in Amsterdam started a Kickstarter campaign for Pingbell. Kickstarter is a large American funding platform for creative projects.
Using a special bicycle bell and your Smartphone, you can easily find your bicycle! You do not have to look for a needle in a haystack anymore (Paymans, 2015).

How does it work?
The bicycle can be found back, because of a built-in Bluetooth receiver. An application has to be downloaded and are available for iOS and Android. The application will show a map where the bicycle is located (Pingbell, 2015).

A second way to find your bicycle is to ring your bell by just push the Ping-button in the app. The sound of the bell will help to locate the bicycle (Frolic Studio, 2015).

There is one last way that can be used to find the bicycle. The mobile app has also a to function to turn on a small light on the bell, which can be very useful finding your bicycle while it is dark and you do not want to make noise (Frolic Studio, 2015).

The bell should be charged via an USB-cable. It is not necessary to charge the battery regularly, charging once a year is sufficient. (Frolic Studio, 2015).

Design
The design is very simple like Frolic mentions: “We’ve simplified the design and user-experience so that it fits right into your life without demanding your attention.” (Frolic Studio, 2015)

Not to forget, this bell can even be used as a normal bell. It does not look like a high-tech gadget. The chances the bell will be stolen are therefore very little (Paymans, 2015).

Crowd funding
Frolic needs 40.000 Euros to realise this project and therefore started a crowd funding campaign on Kickstarter. They already collected 11000 Euros. People who support this project with an amount above 39 Euros, and the project will succeed, will receive a Pingbell (Van Veen, 2015; Paymans, 2015).

I think that people who often lost their bicycle will really appreciate this idea. It is very useful, especially in cities where a lot of people travel by bicycle. Frolic could also try to use opportunities like collaborating with bicycle manufacturers. The Pingbell could be already on the bicycle when people will buy it.
The idea of the Pingbell is very creative and original, but I doubt that the amount of 40.000 will collected. Although, I have my fingers crossed!

What do you think about this project? Will it be successful in the Netherlands? Would you support this project and eventually use the Pingbell? Would it be a good idea for Frolic to approach bicycle manufacturers to make this project a success? Will this new project have an effect on the amount of stolen bicycles?

Author: Arvin Moensi – 349430

References:
van Veen, S. (2015) Vind je fiets terug met Pingbell [online] available at: http://appevent.com/nieuws/vind-je-fiets-terug-met-pingbell

Paymans, L. (2015) Pingbell: met deze slimme fietsbel raak je jouw fiets nooit meer kwijt [online] available at:
http://www.iculture.nl/pingbell-slimme-fietsbel/

Mixed Grill (2015) Nooit meer je fiets kwijt dankzij Pingbell [online] available at: http://www.mixedgrill.nl/2015/09/14/nooit-meer-je-fiets-kwijt-dankzij-pingbell/

Frolic (2015) Pingbell [online] available at:
http://pingbell.frolicstudio.com/

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One response to “Pingbell: The solution to find your lost bicycle by simply pinging your bell!”

  1. fabianoverschie says :

    According to Dutch Amsterdam (2014), the Amsterdam Police and the Cyclists’ Union estimate that each year between 50,000 and 80,000 bikes are stolen. Hereby 58 percent of that bicycles are stolen from in front of someone’s own house, and most bikes thefts take place during the daytime. Dutch Amsterdam also mentions that only a few Dutch people report bike theft to the police, because they think that the police won’t do anything about it. I also recognize this by myself, because when my bike was stolen, I didn’t go to the police either.

    I think Pingbell could be successful because of the theft rate and also because it’s sometimes hard to find your bicycle as you mentioned. What has to be mentioned about the theft rate, is that Belgium, Germany and even Spain are common destinations for bikes stolen in the Netherlands. This because Dutch bikes have a unique frame number which makes it virtually impossible to sell them on. Organised criminal gangs have taken over from junkies as the biggest thieves. Some gangs shift hundreds of bikes at a time, largely to Belgium (DutchNews, 2013). Pingbell will therefore display the location in Belgium, and I don’t think someone is willing to make such an effort to get his bike back, unless the bike is worth much. But all in all I think it will definitely work and will lead to a decrease in bike theft.

    According to the latest information about the crowdfunding of Pingbell, the project hasn’t reached it’s funding goal. With a total of 253 backers they funded 12,673 euros out of 40,000 (goal). I think this will probably come due to the skepticism people have whether Pingbell will work out. Another problem could have been the project’s awareness among the people, I myself didn’t know about this project for instance. I think they have to proceed with Pingbell and if results are positive, it will cause a snowballeffect. Collaboration with bicycle manufacturers will probably help.

    Kind regards,
    Fabian Overschie
    375226fo

    References:
    http://www.dutchamsterdam.nl/857-stolen-bikes-in-amsterdam

    http://www.dutchnews.nl/news/archives/2013/02/stolen_dutch_bikes_end_up_abro/

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