We’re a long way from getting beamed up by Scotty, but at least group communicator wearables are becoming a thing! OnBeep Onyx is an IRL version of the communicator that James T. Kirk and his crew had attached to their shirts.
Group communication is extremely important not only in organizations, but also among people who are collaborating on a project, without being in the same location. Well aware of that, OnBeep created a group communicator wearable that attaches to clothes and enables people to talk to one another just by pressing one button. People are getting quite liberal these days with the term “wearable,” as there is no continuous interaction between the Onyx and the people wearing it. Still, it’s the function it serves that’s more important, not its classification.
“When people work together, nothing beats actually talking to each other in real-time,” explained Jesse Robbins, the CEO and founder of OnBeep. “Onyx enhances the way people communicate, delivering effortless, group collaboration, using the power of your voice.”
Drawing inspiration from the Star Trek badge communicator, the 60 x 60 x 26mm Onyx is a tad bulkier than the one used by USS Enterprise’s crew. However, it weighs only 46 grams, so you’ll barely be able to feel it until you need it. The downside is that OnBeep’s wearable is not a standalone communicator, as it relies on your smartphone to relay your replies. Nothing more than a miniature hands-free Bluetooth speaker, the Onyx requires a data plan, but other than that, there aren’t many restrictions. People you’re talking to can use any other network and can be in any corner of the world, as long as they have an iOS or Android device and their data connection is functioning.
There are plenty of possible applications for such a device, as event planners, construction workers, and fast and furious drivers could use one of these. There has been no word on the battery life of the Onyx, so I’m not sure it would be suitable for emergency situations. Hospital personnel are better off using other group communication devices that rely on radio, rather than a badge Bluetooth speaker that could die anytime.
The Onyx group communicator wearable is currently available for pre-order on the OnBeep website for $99 a piece or $195 a pair.
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