News & EventsBYU students create tiny Bluetooth radio for extreme athletes « Back to Search Results
Every new ski season means the return of an old problem: trying to keep your group together while on the hill. Everyone wants to do something different—whether it’s stop for hot chocolate at the lodge or go down another hill. The problem comes when the group has to reconvene and it takes 30 minutes just to wrangle everyone together.
Because of this, a group of students at Brigham Young University (BYU) has devised an innovative technological device to keep you and your fellow outdoor enthusiasts in touch while in nature: A tiny two-way radio that connects to your phone or headphones via Bluetooth. Wavio, as they call it, is a voice-activated, more mobile version of the classic walkie-talkie. The idea was clever enough to land BYU student Dallin Anderson and his buddies $2,000 at the recent Student Innovator of the Year Competition. The idea came to Anderson when him and his dad were rock climbing. “You would be surprised, but pretty often even 100 feet away you can’t hear each other. When your hands are tied up and you have no cell signal, it’s hard to communicate,” said Anderson.
After positive reviews at Ideathon and a Top-10 finish at the Big Idea Pitch, Anderson formed a team with undergraduate business students Jeremy Rios and Zach Edwards, along with electrical engineering grad student Jonathan Spencer. Their device will allow athletes to communicate one-on-one or with a group of people using the technology. With its Bluetooth connection to a phone, Wavio will also provide a seamless transition between listening to music and talking over the radio. Wavio was not only a finalist at last month’s Student Innovator competition but also won both “Crowd Favorite” and “Most Innovative” titles.