Born from the founders’ experience as first responders and their use of 2-way radios, the OnBeep Onyx is an instant-on, real-time communication device. The twist? It’s even easier to use, works with any modern smartphone and works across any cellular data network or WiFi.
Weighing just 46g, the Onyx clips to your jersey or hydration pack’s shoulder strap. It connects to the OnBeep app on your iOS or Android smartphone via Bluetooth, letting you talk with an unlimited number of your friends and relations instantly and securely. Just push the button on the device to talk, same as you would with a walkie-talkie, then release when you’re done. There’s a headphone port that works with any set with an inline mic should you choose not to have your friends’ voices broadcast publicly, plus volume controls and on/off switch.
The video below shows it in use in a more domestic setting, but we’re thinking it’d be pretty awesome for a day on the mountain or out riding with the family…
Because it’s sending the sounds over data connections through your phone, you can talk instantly to anyone anywhere, whether they’re on the same trail or different continents. Sure, you could do that with iChat or Skype, too. Or you could get walkie talkies. But the keys here are convenience and unlimited range. Your phone stays tucked safely away – you just tap a button to talk.
You can set up different groups, so your communications are restricted to certain people. Everyone in the group hears everything from everyone else simultaneously, and there’s no limit to how many people you can put in a group. The app even shows where everyone is, which can be very helpful should one of your riding buddies go down and call for help.
For now, their rep told us the device won’t be able to play music from your phone between talking, and it can’t be used as a speaker for Skype or phone calls…they wanted to focus on making it do one thing and do it well. Fair enough, we still want one. Or ten.
They’re available for pre-order now, with delivery in December. $99 for one, $195 for a pair.