Yesterday I took a look at one way of staying in communication with friends and family while on the go in the form of a set of two-way radios from Cobra. Today, we’ll check out an entirely different method of communication that is perfect for cyclists, mountain bikers, runners, or just about any type of group that wants an easy to use method of chatting while in the field.
As mentioned, the Bonx device uses the Internet to pass the audio to everyone in the group, so your cell phone needs to either be connected to wifi or your cell provider’s data network at all times. If you find yourself off the grid somewhere the system doesn’t work and you’ll still be left hight and dry. Or, if you’re on a run or bike ride and you’re already in a chat room but lose your network connection temporarily, a voice prompt from the device will alert you to the situation. It will also tell you when you’ve rejoined the conversation as well.
Put to test in the real world, the Bonx works very well, even in areas where the data network might not be as strong or as fast as others. Conversations are generally quite clear and the audio quality is surprisingly crisp most of the time. There are occasional drops, garbled words, or static, but for the most part those are few and far between.
The Bonx Grip is great for team mates who want to train together but don’t necessarily live close to one another. Simply connect on the app and create a chat room, and hit the road for a run or ride. You’ll be able to maintain an easy conversation, with the device automatically detecting when someone starts talking, then passing that audio on to everyone else.
But, the Bonx works great even when you’re relatively close to one another. If you ride in a large cycling group for instance, it is a nice way for everyone to stay in contact. Or, if you’re working on a project in the field – say filming a documentary or scouting new climbing routes – the device can keep all the members of the group in constant contact, even when they wander away from each other. This isn’t a gadget that requires line of sight or has a limited range. It literally will work anywhere, provided you maintain that data network.
Built for use in the outdoors, the Bonx is waterproof, dustproof, and shockproof. It has a 7 hour battery life and is easily recharged using a USB battery pack or USB charger. The device sells for $139.95 for one unit, but you need at least two to create the chat group. Hopefully you’ll be able to convince some friends to buy a couple as well.
Find out more on the Bonx Grip official website.
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