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Runbell: The Next Big Running Accessory

This new invention hopes to make it easier to run in an urban environment.

An ingenious new invention seeking funding on Kickstarter may make running in a crowd a little easier.

Anyone who has ever gone running in an urban area knows how frustrating it can be to try to navigate the throngs of pedestrians, bikers, and other runners. It is hard to keep your heart rate up when you’re constantly slowing down, yelling “excuse me” or other warnings as you pass.The Runbell hopes to make such scenarios a thing of the past.

This tiny device, which is worn like a two-finger ring, allows runners to alert those around them of their presence with the help of a small but powerful bell.

The idea came from the mind of Kevin Nadolny, who found his runs through Tokyo to be tedious. As he sought to fight the crowds, he also recognized how culturally innapropriate it was to yell at pedestrians as he passed. Though Tokyo’s culture is vastly different from our own, there is something to be said for an alternative to the usual “get out of the way” yelling routine.

So, he began running with a bike bell and found that this device, though bulky and hard to run with, helped clear people out of his running path. In a desire to create something a bit more user friendly, he began developing the Runbell and, by August 2013, he had an initial prototype.

Though it may seem like a simple design, the creators of Runbell took many different factors into account in order to create a quality, light-weight, and stylish product that can easily accompany any runner. Brass was chosen for the bell to create the clearest sound. The small bell is mounted on top of the two-finger aluminum ring, right next to a small striker on a spring which is easily activated by pulling back and letting go at the desired angle.

To accommodate smaller fingers, silicone inserts can be added to both the men’s and women’s rings. This allows not only customization for each person, but also for people who wear gloves in the winter. Nickel-free and weighing in at only one ounce, the inventors promise easy integration into any runner’s wardrobe.

The project is seeking funding through Kickstarter and currently is just $5,000 away from becoming the next big running accessory. To find out more about the project, check out the Runbell website.

To see how the Runbell works, watch the video below:

Image courtesy Runbell Facebook

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