Onyx, the group communicator wearable from San Francisco based Orion Labs (formerly known as OnBeep), has a new upgrade for its Star Trek-esque group communicator.
Starting Q4 of this year, the Onyx will be able to connect with Amazon Alexa through a free software update.
This means you'll be able to access every Alexa skill available just by talking into Onyx. According to the company, that even includes controlling your GE appliances with Alexa, which was also just announced, from "anywhere in the world."
Existing Onyx owners will be sent details so they can upgrade their Onyx and start using Amazon Alexa.
What is Onyx?
Onyx is essentially a hands-free Bluetooth speaker that you attach to yourself (measuring in at 50 x 15.7mm and weighing 35g), the communicator taps into an accompanying app to offer group chat sessions on the go.
The premise of the app (iOS and Android) is simple: you create a group of up to 15 people, give it a name and away you go. You simply tap the button on the Onyx device and speak, with your voice coming out of the speakers of the available group member's devices.
The voice functionality works via data, so it won't eat up your minutes and it doesn't matter what network your pals are on or where they are in the world. The app also gives location and availability information.
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If you feel like a berk talking freely to the device, you can pop in some headphones to the jack.
“When people work together, nothing beats actually talking to each other in real-time," said Jesse Robbins, CEO and founder of Orion Labs.
“Onyx enhances the way people communicate, delivering effortless, group collaboration, using the power of your voice."
In theory, the system is a great idea – it would make group chatting at something like a gig (or a cheesy birthday surprise planning session as per the promo vid) a choreless task, provided your data connection holds that is.
We just wish it wasn't so bulky. This same setup with something small like the Moto Hint would be perfect.