Orion Labs’ Onyx, a walkie-talkie that lets you chat with people anywhere in the world, is now available for purchase. Onyx will also soon be able to talk to Amazon’s Alexa, meaning you will be able to quickly ask the voice assistant for the latest headlines, weather forecasts, and more.
Onyx is a round button that clips onto a shirt or dress. It pairs with your phone via Bluetooth low energy, and you can add other Onyx users to a group through the iOS and Android app. Simply push and hold the device to begin recording your message. It is immediately sent to the recipient, who will hear it play back via speakers on the device. It is a quick way for teams to chat, but it is also somewhat reminiscent of being a child and playing with walkie-talkies or a string phone.
Hands on: Orion Onyx
You can send a voice message via Onyx to anywhere in the world, as long as you have cellular service or Wi-Fi and the recipient has an Onyx as well.
The Onyx comes as a pair and has been up for pre-order on the company’s site at $250. It began shipping recently, but you can also purchase a pair from Amazon LaunchPad, b8ta, and a “network of dealers and resellers via a deal with D&H Distributing” for $200. Single devices cost $130, and more retailers are on the way.
The Amazon Alexa integration will arrive as a free software update during this year’s fourth quarter. Alexa becomes a group you can switch to via the app. You will then be able to push the Onyx button down and ask her questions. You will also be able to control any smart home devices you own, and can even order food or a ridesharing car.