Back in November, we announced the launch of our Build-A-Bot customizer tool which allows users to create a unique Boombot REX by mix-and-matching the speaker’s grills, bezel, clip and body color. Additionally, Build-A-Bot users are able to upload pictures directly from their smartphones and print it on a Boombot REX’s grill.
Now, we are stoked to announce that we have teamed up with San Francisco based designer, Benny Gold, to bring an even more personal, ultraportable music experience. Benny has taken his brand from a simple sticker to now being one of the most celebrated street-wear companies of our generation. Having recent collaborations with JanSport, Zumiez and The Hundreds; we are excited to be partnered with The Gold Family.
We are also running a really cool promotion to win a FREE “Stay Gold” branded Boombot. Along with the speaker, we are giving away 2 Hats, 2 beanies, 2 shirts and 2 pairs of socks. Enter your email here for a chance to win. – Good luck!
For the past year we’ve been making custom speakers for our athletes, artists and a number of customers doing private labeling. Mass customization has become something that consumers have come to expect these days. Even Pizza Hut recently launched a new pizza builder as part of their rebrand efforts. Build-a-Bot is a new site we’ve developed to allow anyone to build their own custom speaker with several clicks from anywhere. Build-a-Bot works on desktop or any mobile device. You can snap a photo or upload your own artwork and have your own speaker delivered in hands in under a week.
The screenshot below shows the desktop version. You can click the bubble on each part of the speaker. It’s easy. It’s fast. It’s fun.
This design uses some artwork from LA based graffiti artist, SketONE.
about the project
The Boombot REX was customizable by design, but without this technology, we had to manually set up each graphic file. What used to take us over an hour is now fully automated for 90% of the process. There is of course some manual product assembly we still do to build each unit, but we think the system we’ve invested in here will allow us to scale our custom product operation. We’re not the only ones doing custom speakers. Jawbone has had the Jambox customizer for some time now, but their site doesn’t have full color printing and promises a 1-2 week lead time. With our technology, we’ve managed to slim lead times down to less than 5 days with full color printing and much more customization. It’s a culmination of hardware design and intelligent back end logistics that makes this all possible.
We’ve developed some proprietary technology for printing and coating as well. We’ve tried a number of print methods before landing on one that uses an evaporative heat transfer process that produces a product with rich color, great detail, and outstanding durability. Anyhow, we’re pretty excited about the new site and we’re definitely curious to see what you guys come up with. Get your design on.
Three months ago we had a phone call with RZA, legendary producer and founder of Wu-Tang Clan, to talk about licensing the iconic Wu-Tang logo. Halfway through the phone call RZA flipped the script on us. He asked us if it was possible to embed songs from their 20th anniversary album, “A Better Tomorrow,” onto a Boombot.
In stock form, a Boombot REX does not have built in flash memory or a file management system of any kind. Chris and I went to the drawing board. The time was tight and the task was tricky. We had to rethink our firmware and hardware to accommodate the new features. Chris spent two weeks in China with our engineers crafting prototypes. Meanwhile, Zumiez jumped on board the opportunity with a full roll out. The pressure was on to delivery for the Q4 holiday. I headed out to China right after Chris got back to ensure that production was moving. We managed to basically turn around a fresh product variation in 60 days. Many hours of sleep were lost to help make A Better Tomorrow happen.
This was our first time working directly with the RZA. I wanted to show him that we were a company that could execute. At the same time, he came along the ride to pitch the idea to Zumiez. RZA is a seasoned entrepreneur that knows the game and I get to learn a lot from his experience. He also has some stories he shares over dinner that just make me chuckle inside. There are some questions you can ask a hip-hop legend that just don’t pertain to the average person. RZA says that his regular morning sessions on the elliptical machine help to offset most of his vices. I started to picture him busting a sweat on an elliptical…
On Sunday we went to Swell sound studio to record some VOs. RZAs a natural on the mic. Just hearing RZA say “Boom-bot-ix” through the studio monitors sent a chill down my spine. He has an iconic voice and I definitely felt honored to have him dropping the truth on how he wanted to work with us on changing the music industry. This felt like it was going to be big.
Today, we are proud to announce the Boombot REX – 20th Anniversary Wu-Tang Edition. The eight tracks, collectively called “A Better Tomorrow” Special Play (SP), will be released on November 15th on a Boombot REX, which is prior to the general release date of the album. If you want to be one of the first people to hear the new Wu-Tang songs, the only way to do that is through a Boombot REX.
The guiding principle behind RZA’s production of this album is to inspire the world to “A Better Tomorrow” through Wu-Tang’s music.
“A Better Tomorrow” has a multifaceted meaning depending on the individual. To some it means a day where basic needs of food, clothing and shelter are fulfilled. For others it translates into a place where they will be able to find love and happiness with the people around them.
With this project, we hope that in our own small way, we’re able to help RZA achieve his goals of improving the world that we all share.
This summer we brought in an engineering student from France (Francois Morenne) to partake in putting together formalized applications testing. I used to to similar types of testing for the LED lighting company I worked for. I showed him how to design an experiment and formulate a report as part of his internship program.
In my previous gig, it was often helpful for our sales team to demonstrate how thoroughly we tested our products. We have one customer using our product in the medical treatment field so the demands of our testing standards had to go beyond standard certifications.
Some things that customers like to see include accelerated aging, runtime, vibration, and impact testing. This is what really sets some products apart; We believe a true test demonstrates real life performance versus a make-believe marketing spec. Most brands are throwing out outrageous figures that are not substantiated in test. They sucker consumers with big promises on runtime and falsified claims. Since we are running these reports, we thought it’d be a good idea to publish them here.
On this test, we drop the product from a fixed height numerous times and do a qualitative analysis on how well the unit holds up. We found that the tuffSKIN protective wrap significantly improves the units resilience to repeated impact.
We are currently doing some runtime tests, water resistance and accelerated aging tests. I’ll continue to post our findings on this article as the data becomes available. I hope that this is a great step into offering the most pure transparency with our fans and customers.
The moment we released the Boombot REX, it immediately changed the direction and design language of our brand. It was a product with a radical departure from the original creature-based Skullyboom. The new Boombot REX represents the fourth generation in the Boombot legacy with each model being significantly better than the last. A number of features on this product are the result of maintaining an ongoing dialogue with our customers/fans. Some features like the new $99 price point are injected for the sake of awesomeness.
In this article, I’m going to break down some of the subtle differences that make the new Boombot REX one of the top portable speakers on the market.
about the design
The core technology of the Boombot REX remains unchanged, but there a some subtleties that many of us will enjoy. My personal favorite is the enlarged battery pushing a fifty percent longer runtime than the older model. We had to completely redesign the internals of the product to allocate spacing for this larger battery. This was quite challenging considering how compact the older model already was. We moved the connectors to the sides of the product to make the more accessible while also freeing up the entire bottom of the product for battery.
You will see four small screws on top of the unit. These screws create pressure on the silicone button module that prevent water from entering the housing. By moving the button module to the top of the unit and increasing the button size, we’ve made this a product that can withstand the elements along with our clumsy frozen fingers.
One of the most common questions I’ve been getting is, “does it sound better?” Why yes it does. Our team has always been a fan of using subtle filters to get the most out of a small form factor. We pride ourselves on power-to-size ratio. The new 2014 Boombot REX has an active limiter that kicks in on the upper end of bass-rich songs to reduce distortion by over 70%.
The geometry of the new Boombot REX remains unchanged. Most parts are fully interchangeable including the tuffSKINS. It’s what’s on the inside that counts.
between the lines
If you ever want to pass the rock to a friend, the new Boombot REX has a feature where you can press and hold the ‘+’ and ‘-‘ buttons to re-engage pairing to a new phone. Sometimes its the little things.