About CMac

Making Ideas Happen.

Boombotix Alley Cow Race Recap

No better way to get to the 10th Annual SF Bike Expo than an alleycat race. This last Saturday was no exception- as the weather was prime, the pavement was hot, and the riders were fueled with beverages ready to propel them. Kicking things off at the Boombotix HQ with iced coffee and breakfast bites, riders lined up at the iconic ledge starting around 11am. For some, it was their first race, for others, this was standard business. Regardless, the route over the hill to the cow palace led to some interesting route choices and lines, and ultimately, a winner who outfoxed them all. See photos:

Riders lining up at the HQ:
Pre Race

5 minute countdown:
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The manifest (which went up like wildfire at the start)
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And they’re off
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After the dust settled– Gino G from TCB came in first. By a long shot.
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Our second place finisher. Must have had some metal in his head, because he crushed it.
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Third place finisher, Kell WOB
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First prize, a DESTROY bikes CUSTOM track frame for Gino, plus the Boombot REX and the new handlebar mount.
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Second prize, the Sriracha RED Boombot2. Hotsauce!
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Third place finisher with a very DIY White Boombot1.
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4th place finisher Angel who came in fourth in his first alleycat. Well done enough for a Boombot1.
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DFL Award to the man who claimed he would, yet didnt, he just had the courage to stick around long enough.
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Big ups to everyone who came out, our checkpoint checkers, and the SF Bike Expo, Destroy Bikes, and RIDE SFO for participating in the event. Hope everyone had a great time, the winning route is linked below:

http://www.strava.com/activities/95533457

How Do Cell Phones Makes Your Life Better?

Our buddy Earl hit us up with this rad infographic on how cell phones make our lives better. Of course, we all know that Tinder-ing and lurking the Facebook cannot be done with an ordinary mobile phone, one needs a legit Android or iPhone, paired with a lickedy split data connection. Waking up and checking Instagram is a habit of many, checking in on friends and idols alike, sure makes people happy.

Have a look:

How Cell Phones Makes Your Life Happier?

The raddest statistic we found is the streamlining of the music/MP3 playback devices. Now that all your tunes are on your phone, why not pick up a portable speaker as mobile as your phone, to hear those tunes the way the artist meant for you.

This Infographic is produced by Coupon Audit (provides Abebooks coupon code) and Boombotix

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Behind the Design: Finding Ultraportable

Crafting the size and shape of the Boombot REX required a direct focus on the end user, and the true meaning of the product to these users. In design, this is paramount, to build the feature set into your product your beachhead market will value the most, and focus mainly on those few items. Luckily, in the design of the Boombot REX, our founding team is ideal representatives of this beachhead market, as we all share the traits of our desired end user. Our active, outdoor roots led to the inception of this company, so designing for this active, transient, outdoor persona was natural and accessible. An essential element of human centered design is to know exactly who your ideal end user is, and it makes a huge difference to be the designer and also the intended end user of the product.

The most important design element to our speakers are their size, mainly how they fit and feel in ones hand. We call this size ultraportable, for our meticulous efforts go beyond where any portable speaker on the market go. In the preliminary design process, we were very focused on the shape of the speaker. In a competitive landscape already saturated by bricks (in 2011), an(other) ultraportable brick or klondike bar would not be right for our progressive brand. After landing on the final, irregular dodecagon Boombot REX shape, consisting of a dual-axis chamfered hexagonal prism, we hit print. Here’s what we ended up with:

 

HexFront

The very first Boombot REX prototype.

HEXside

Side of the prototype circa December 2011 (known as the Hex at this point)

Now, at first glance, these photos look like the Boombot REX you see today. Aside from the brushed grill covering the entire front of the speaker (now an ABS/brushed combination), and a single, 75mm driver (now dual 36mm drivers), the overall shape is the same. The size, however, is not.

When this speaker was set down on the table, it looked like it was meant to stay there, in a stationary state. This object did not invite people to pick it up and put it in their hand, rather, it invited people to admire the object without touching it. While it was aesthetically pleasing, it was a stationary object intrinsically- dictated primarily by its 4-inch by 4-inch size. This is where we pivoted in the design, and went back to our ultraportable roots.

The original Skullyboom speaker (Boombot1 for the new wave folks) had a size that fit in ones hand phenomenally. This palmable size, paired with it’s non radial curves, made for a great experience with the speaker in hand. People would literally see these and the next second, whether consciously or unconsciously, the would be holding it in their hand. This state was the goal of redesigning the Boombot REX, as to attract people to see AND hold it.

Armed with only a block of modeling clay, I set out to meticulously carve this chunk of clay into the exact size needed to achieve this goal. Without worrying about what size PC board or how large the battery needed to be, I created a clay mockup at the exact size we needed. Not only does this size invite people to grab the object, but once it is in hand, to be delighted by the feel of it. After days of adding and shaving clay to find the ideal size, I arrived at the 85*80*40mm shape we now have shipped over 10K Boombot REX speakers of. At this point, we marked the foundation of our product, and went back to the drawing board to fit all of the internal components inside of the speaker in harmony.

Customizable from the start.

Customizable from the beginning.

By designing for ultraportable first, ultimately designing the most important feature our end users desire, the Boombot REX came to life. The delight one gets from picking up this speaker and holding it in one hand is paralleled to none, other than holding a beating heart (KALI-MA!). This size became the first design constraint, with every other feature secondary. Moving forward, we packed as much audio firepower inside the speaker as possible, knowing that whatever we did, the speaker would still have it’s ultraportable DNA.

Ultraportable

Next week, I’ll be discussing the firmware design of the speaker, from button commands to why the LED turns green when you connect a male to the female line-in port…

Thanks for the love Kickstarter!

As this is written, we are proud to announce every single Boombot REX pre-ordered on Kickstarter, including T shirts, Dog Tags and Grillkits have been shipped, both domestic and international. Along the way, we’ve learned so much about our Kickstarter backers, which many would consider the most progressive consumers for taking such a risk by supporting something they believe in. Now that our ultraportable speakers are in their hands, the can of worms is open. Here’s what some of our awesome backers have had to say thus far:

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Entire list of Siri Commands

Most iPhone users seldom use Siri, the super intelligent voice assistant that is built into every iPhone that ships today. Why? To start, if you’re holding the phone in your hand (previously the only way to access Siri), all of the functions can be done WITHOUT SIRI, in the traditional method, as fast or faster than using the voice assistant. However, with Siri-enabled peripheral devices such as the Boombot REX or newer car model integration, the ability to remotely access the power of your smartphone has never been more convenient. Without taking your phone out of your pocket, you can set an appointment, ask the time, check the weather, call your mom, and even ask where you are. For this reason alone, the Boombot REX is one of the best portable speakers on the market today. Heres a look at all the things you can do, without taking your phone out of your pocket.

Here we go– the longest list of Siri functions that can be done, all without taking your phone out of your pocket.

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