A San Francisco company's global network and wearable technology allows people to communicate with a touch of a button. Ben Gruber reports.
STORY: Anytime, day or night, no matter which way you look, it seems you'll see someone with a smartphone in their hand. Jesse Robbins and Greg Albrecht of San Francisco based company Orion wanted to find a way to give people their hands back. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JESSE ROBBINS, FOUNDER AND CEO, ORION, SAYING: "What can I do to make real time communication something that everyone in the world can have in a way that doesn't have them looking down at their smartphone." (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREG ALBRECHT, CO-FOUNDER AND CTO, ORION, SAYING: "We wanted something you could wear that would keep you in the moment and keep you in what you were doing." The answer to their search came in the form of a wearable device called Onyx that allows you to communicate with people anywhere in the world while keeping your phone in your pocket. (UPSOUND SEQUENCE ROBBINS/ALBRECHT USING DEVICE) There are plenty of hands free options in the market, but armed with a team of coders and developers, the company took it a step further. (SOUNDBITE) (English) GREG ALBRECHT, CO-FOUNDER AND CTO, ORION, SAYING: "It is essentially a bluetooth communications device so it is not much different than any other bluetooth device you might connect to your phone with the exception that the Onyx and other devices on the Orion network connect you to the Orion network." And the Orion network, accessed via an app on your phone, is what sets the company apart. It allows any member, no matter their location or cellular provider to speak with another member or group of members with a simple push of a button. (SOUNDBITE) (English) JESSE ROBBINS, FOUNDER AND CEO, ORION, SAYING: "The range is the Internet. It has even been used on a moving boat in Palao to talk to a team back in the United States." The network also provides users with other useful information about their contacts location and their online status. Robbins envisions a day when the devices get smaller and the capabilities of the network expand, giving users the ability to control everything from their TV to their appliances with voice commands. The company is growing and will offer a new device called Ruby marketed towards the fashion conscious later this year.