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Blind mountain biker uses BONX wearable to navigate the trails

Blind racer Bobby McMullen​ can communicate on his rides using outdoor sports group-talk technology BONX.

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Technology has been making strides in helping almost anyone be able to continue their athletic endeavors. In this story, mountain bike rider Bobby McMullen only has 15% of his sight and has survived cancer, two double-organ transplants, open-heart surgery and many more injuries that could have stopped him from hopping on that bike. Even so, you can still find him shredding down trails in California.

Along with his usual guide that would help him maneuver down mountainsides, McMullen now has outdoor sports group-talk technology BONX developed to assist with communications between the two. The BONX Grip allows individuals to create groups through the available app so each member can stay in constant contact with one another while out in the world.

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Blind Mountain Biker Bobby McMullen Shreds with BONX from BONX Inc. on Vimeo.

The BONX Grip includes technology that is efficient and reliable. The device only uses data when the user is speaking to help save battery life and data usage. It has voice activity detection to constantly be able to sort through all the sounds that will come through the microphone and it can distinguish the user’s voice from other sounds. Even if you find yourself in conditions where there are strong winds, the BONX Grip is able to reduce the wind noise to let users hear one another. The Grip is also IPX5 water resistant, but does not work underwater (i.e. scuba diving or snorkeling).

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BONX was founded in 2014 and has already found success in Japan. Once the device was developed, their first crowdfunding campaign started where over $200,000 was raised through over 1,300 backers. Now they have found their way to Indiegogo with a goal of $100,000. As of today, they’ve reached 70% of their goal through 429 backers.

If you’re interested in backing this product, there are nine different options to choose from (one already being sold out). The product is predicted to be shipped out in November of this year.