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    OnBeep to Develop Wearable Communications Devices for Work

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    Just about everyone has a smartphone these days and yet, our collective ability to collaborate with one another in real time remains fairly limited. OnBeep today announced it has raised $6.25 million to solve the collaboration problem using a new class of wearable communications devices.

    With a nod toward communicators from Star Trek, OnBeep is developing wearable communications devices that leverage Bluetooth wireless communications and an application installed on a smartphone to allow groups of individuals to communicate with each other in real time.

    OnBeep CEO Jesse Robbins says the company is trying to address the needs of groups of individuals that might, for example, be trying to stage an event. Those individuals need to collaborate more efficiently without necessarily having to rely on cumbersome walkie-talkies or push-to-talk applications that are often tied to specific carrier networks.

    Robbins says that when it comes to anything wearable, how the device looks is just as important as how it functions. Otherwise, end users will simply resist using it. But assuming the OnBeep communicator does address fashion concerns, the company is still taking a gamble that many groups of people need to collaborate in real time during the workday.

    For the most part, the conversation surrounding wearable devices has focused on consumer applications. But as these devices evolve, it’s also apparent that they are likely to change how we work as much as play.

    Mike Vizard
    Mike Vizard
    Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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