The Japan's wearable 'walkie-talkie' changes the way we experience outdoor sports
By Staff Writer
Tech-oriented companies are introducing gadgets to ease the communication services. Bonx wearable Transceiver is one of those gadgets, which can be used as a communicating source in extreme hard-to-reach situations.
According to Ignition, 'Bonx' wearable walkie-talkie was released initially by a young Japanese start-up, Chikei Inc. It is a crowdfunding pre-orders for the BONX, started in November 2014. A unit costs ¥15,800 but if you buy a pair, each will only cost ¥14,800. Bonx is expected to be available in four colors in late November or mid-December this year.
The Bonx is a communication device which can be hooked onto your ear. It enables a group of people to communication conveniently in hard-to-reach situations, especially for the people who are continuously engaged in outdoor activities such as snowboarding, fishing, cycling and running.
Unlike traditional walkie-talkies, the device a dedicated app connected to your smartphone via Bluetooth and then through that connects to your friends over 3G or LTE networks. That makes BONX's range vast between users, as mentioned by Venture Beat.
The Bonx wearable transceiver crowdfunding campaign raised over $180,000, crossing their initial funding goal of about $8,000 (1 million yen) in about 40 days. After the huge victory, the campaign started in October will be ending soon.
Takahiro Miyasaka, CEO of Chikei, the startup behind Bonx said that imagining for people not involved in outdoor activities is hard, but "until now there were a lot of different difficulties involved in communicating with your friends while doing outdoor activities."
Miyasaka explained that technology has enabled the people to catch signals even in the mountains and other remote places. But having to take out your phone and then gloves just to talk with your buddies was too annoying and frustrating until the introduction of Bonx.
Explaining the origination of idea, Miyasaka said a long-time snowboarder involved with an NPO teaches kids how to snowboard. However, it gets harder for the coach to communicate and train the kids. As he had to halt the kids during snowboarding and convey the instructions every time. "I thought, wouldn't it be nice if we could have real-time communication for outdoor activities," This concept of Bon, also called the GoPro of communication, led to the introduction of an incredible communication device.
As reported by The Bridge, Bonx has the ability to transmit data via Bluetooth and BLE (Bluetooth Low Energy) between the device and the app. After the scanning for other surrounding Bluetooth actives, individual or group communication can be done simply by pushing a button on the device.
The device is quite simple to use. It has just two main buttons that can be easily pushed while wearing gloves and an app with a simple user interface UI designed to be used on location.
Furthermore, when the signals are weak, it temporarily saves the voice messages, thus saving the battery. This device can be used in harsh conditions like in an extremely noisy environment, by uniquely developed voice recognition technology and their patent-pending voice data transmission system.
By viewing increasing demand for the outdoor sports market and commercial transceiver market, the sale rate of Bonx is also anticipated to get high.