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Brief Published: 10 Nov 2014

Onyx: Group-Chat Wearable

US start-up OnBeep has launched Onyx, a new wearable that enables users to chat with a group of people at the touch of a button. The $99 circular device clips onto clothing or accessories, allowing users to communicate with friends, family or co-workers on-the-go.

Users can activate the chat function by tapping the button at its centre. Up to 15 people can be added to each group chat via the accompanying Onyx app, which syncs to the wearable via Bluetooth.

It's creators wanted to design a product that makes it simple for groups to communicate in real time, without the need to read or type messages into group chats on phones.

"Every great moment in humanity has depended on people working together in real time, letting them focus on the problems they're trying to achieve, and not having to futz with something that takes them out of that moment," OnBeep co-founder Jesse Robbins told Business Insider.

The San Francisco-based company raised more than $6m earlier this year in seed funding to build Onyx. Alongside personal use, Robbins says Onyx could also prove useful in business environments – helping event planners, construction workers or restaurant staff easily communicate with each other.

Advances in interface design promise a future where consumers are freed from their screens. Instead, technology will blend seamlessly into everyday life. For more on this, see Beyond Wearables, part of our latest Macro Trend, Post-Digital.