Inspired by CEO Takahiro Miyasaka’s passion for snowboarding, BONX Grip is a hands-free, voice-activated communication device that allows athletes and outdoor enthusiasts to stay in touch no matter where they are. BONX Grip will be on display at the 2018 Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Nevada.
The idea for BONX came to Miyasaka while he was snowboarding with friends at a ski resort in Japan. While out on the slopes, Miyasaka realized his ability to communicate with friends while riding “sucked.” Even though he and his friends had smartphones, they had to rely on hand signals to communicate with one another when riding. Inspired by the way GoPro revolutionized the sports industry, Miyasaka set out to create a similarly innovative device to change the way groups communicate when adventuring.
Unlike other group talk Bluetooth devices, which tend to be bulky, expensive, and limited in range, BONX is lightweight, designed to endure various weather and water conditions, and functions wherever there’s a cell signal.
With snowboarders like himself in mind, Miyasaka designed the earpiece for long-term comfort. “The idea was to make something you can wear all day that is easy to use and unobtrusive. You can’t hold a phone while snowboarding or rock climbing or fishing. It has to be hands free,” he said.
Although individual sports enthusiasts remain BONX Grip’s primary consumer base, the device has found demand among coaches and trainers. “In Japan, we’ve had ski instructors use BONX to give real-time feedback to skiers as they’re coming down the slope. They don’t have to wait for skiers to reach the bottom of the hill,” said Miyasaka. In addition to ski and snowboarding schools, BONX Grip is used by the coach of Japan’s national mogul ski team. “It’s been great to see the ways people are adapting it to their needs,” added Miyasaka.
In fall 2017, BONX announced that mountain biker Brandon Semenuk would represent the company as its global brand ambassador. Semenuk, a Canadian freeride mountain biker, is a three time FMB World Tour Gold Medalist and an X Games Silver medalist. BONX Grip will also be promoted by Team LottoNL-Jumbo, a professional men’s bicycle racing team that competes in the first division of the Tour de France every year, starting in January 2018.
Capitalizing on the potential of the BONX technology, Miyasaka’s firm is also marketing BONX for Business, an alternative to walkie-talkies for clients such as construction sites and security personnel at events. Early adopters include the Tokyo International Film Festival and Amazon Fashion Week TOKYO.
At CES, BONX will concentrate on the sports market for the device. BONX Grip is already for sale in stores in U.S. and Canada, as well as online, and a product launch is underway in Europe. With reps in place in New York and Quebec, BONX is coming to CES to expand its sales network. Miyasaka will be attending CES himself, and is looking forward to finding new partners and distributors to reach South America and Asia. “The best match for us would be a distributor who has experience in consumer electronics and also in sports,” he says.
For more information on BONX, visit: https://BONX.co/en/