High atop Weathertop where the Kings of Old Middle Earth once surveyed their kingdoms, the Smorn leers knowingly at the vale below. His hand rubs the grass and sniffs the air – hobbits had been here, for certain. He raises his long snout and begins to howl, the sound echoing off the swart hills and into the darkness below.
JK all the way. Actually, the Orp Smart Horn AKA The Smorn is a bike horn built by Tory Orzeck of Portland, a former GE Plastics and Nike designer who, after a run in with a few nasty cars, decided to build a “hearable” horn in a small, rechargeable package. The Smorn can blast trucks as they pass or, using the Wail Tail trigger, you can move the decibels and pitch up and down.
The horn blows out a 76 dB tap or you can hit a 96 dB blast to wake sleepy drivers out of their texting stupor. The project has six days to go and is near its $90,000 goal so you’re almost guaranteed product when it funds. $45 gets you a Smorn in white, blue, orange, or “snot green.” $55 gets you a Glorp – a glow-in-the-dark model.
The Smorn also has four front LEDs can strobe, and you recharge it via USB. It is also waterproof and you can set a special Pulse mode that will beep regularly as you ride down the street, keeping people aware of your presence.
Tory wanted to solve the problem of bikers getting hit by drivers who were oblivious to the cyclists around them. He writes:
We live here in Portland, Oregon, considered one of the most bike friendly places in the world. There are bike paths, bike lanes and designated bike friendly roads throughout the city. But no matter what, our rides mean sharing the road with cars.
Having said that, bicycle versus vehicle accidents have steadily increased in Portland as more people take to the road on their bikes.
Our project was prompted by both this phenomena as well as a few particularly well documented accidents in Portland involving cyclists and commercial trucks. The problem was that the cyclist was neither seen nor heard.
While I know that Frodo and Bilbo will never have to fight the evil Smorn in their travels towards Mordor, it is nice to know that Strider would be able to find them if they pulled the Wail Tail in a time of need.