Posts Tagged ‘zomm wireless leash’

Tuesday, May 22nd, 2012

Celebrating “National Inventor’s Month” with a Salute to Sven Mattisson and Jaap Haartsen, Inventors of Bluetooth

May is a month for celebrating. We recently commemorated “Better Hearing and Speech Month” with a post describing five useful smartphone apps for hearing and speech impaired individuals. Now we’d like to recognize “National Inventor’s Month” with an ode to Sven Mattisson and Jaap Haartsen, the inventors of Bluetooth technology.

Exploring the History of Bluetooth Technology

Photo courtesy of

This illustrious Bluetooth history takes us back to the mid-1990’s. The leading technology companies agreed to the need for a standard way to connect devices wirelessly, regardless of their make and model. Representative of IBM, Intel, Toshiba, and Nokia, converged on Lund, Sweden, the home of Ericcson, to form Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG).

Mattisson and Haartsen, both of Ericcson, developed the Bluetooth specification, which is based on “frequency-hopping spread spectrum,” and are thus credited as the inventors. The most compelling part of the story, however, is how Bluetooth came to be known as Bluetooth.


The Viking King Harald Bluetooth is the inspiration behind Bluetooth technology.

Photo courtesy of

According to Jim Kardach, who ran Bluetooth SIG until 2001, Intel called their short-range wireless technologies program “Biz-RF.” Ericsson’s program was “MC-Link,” and Nokia had “Low Power RF.” These different—and unremarkable—names created confusion, and it became clear they needed to develop a single name.

Bluetooth allegedly came to be during a pub-crawl on a blustery Toronto night. Mattisson and Kardach, who represented Intel at the time, were drowning their sorrows after early proposals of “Biz-RF” and “MC-Link” were rejected by the early SIG, when Mattisson shared a story about the Viking King Harald Bluetooth.

Bluetooth had united warring factions in Denmark, Sweden, and Norway, much like Bluetooth technology would unite different technology made by Intel, Ericsson, Nokia, Toshiba and any of Bluetooth SIG’s 16,000 current member companies. Marketing men threw around different names, including “Flirt—getting close, but not touching,” but Bluetooth stuck.

So, today, we pay homage to the pioneers Vikings of Bluetooth technology. Without these fearless nerds, the ZOMM Wireless Leash could not exist and you and your phone would be forever-warring factions.

Friday, September 24th, 2010

WIRED Reviews the ZOMM

ZOMM Electronic Leash

Reviewed by Michael S. Lasky  • September 23, 2010
Want a Speakerphone That Doubles as a Panic Button? We've Got You Covered
$80  •

Want a Speakerphone That Doubles as a Panic Button? We’ve Got You Covered

The ZOMM looks and feels like a cheap trinket you’d get at the third-rate gadget convention. But don’t let this first impression fool you. In a pinch, the ZOMM can save your cell and maybe your butt.

About the size of a prune (eww), the ZOMM attaches to a keychain or lanyard and pairs via Bluetooth to your phone. The idea: If you stray too far from the phone the ZOMM emits a high-pitched alarm or flashes its lights or vibrates indicating you’re about to leave your cell behind. Press the gigantic ‘Z’ button on the side of the ZOMM and the alarm will cease.

If that’s all the ZOMM did it certainly wouldn’t be worth 80 bucks. But the thing also moonlights as a fairly decent hands-free speakerphone. Considering the diminutive size of the device, the sound is surprisingly good at both ends of the conversation. While there is currently no volume control, an upcoming firmware update promises to add this.

The ZOMM can also act as a panic button if shit starts to get real. Say you’re about to be mugged. Hold the Z button down for 10 seconds and the alarm squeals. We’re not sure if a perp would find this aggravating (leading to an ass kicking), scary (leading to him running away), or hilarious (leading to a light ass kicking). The ZOMM will also dial 911 if you keep the button held down for additional 5 seconds. Can’t talk to the operator because your mouth is full of bloody Chiclets? The ZOMM also has a GPS that will pinpoint your location.

Initial activation, firmware updates, and programming the emergency call to a number other than 911 are all done via a small downloaded PC app. The lithium ion battery keeps the ZOMM going for about three days but has only enough power to last through, at best, 2 hours of talk time.

Still not bad for a gizmo that can potentially get you out of a jam and more importantly prevent your cellphone from being left behind. But one taxing question remains: If you use a ZOMM too much do you eventually become a ZOMM-bie?

WIRED Multitasks better than Ari Gold. Brain-dead simple to set up and activate. Stays powered for up to three days.

TIRED Lack of volume control dependent on promised firmware updates. Speakerphone doesn’t pick up sounds well unless directly in front of you. Emergency call takes at least 15 seconds to initiate.

  • Manufacturer: ZOMM
  • Price: $80

Tuesday, August 24th, 2010

Miss Oklahoma Loves ZOMM!

The Penix family members are lifelong residents of the great state of Oklahoma. And the ZOMM headquarters  proudly stand in Tulsa, Oklahoma. So it only makes sense that Miss Oklahoma, a major representative of the state, should receive a ZOMM.

Last month Henry sent Miss Oklahoma, Emoly West, her very own bedazzled ZOMM. And guess what…she loves it!

Henry received a lovely thank you note from Emoly this week. She graciously thanked him for “thinking of Miss Oklahoma, and providing me with the ‘world’s first wireless leash.’” She went on to gush about how the ZOMM “is a real eye-catcher and definitely accentuates my keychain!”

So glad to hear she’s enjoying her ZOMM and we wish her the best of luck throughout her reign.

Friday, August 20th, 2010

Typical Mac User Features ZOMM

The new ZOMM Wireless Leash – Alarm. A neat gadget for an older guy like me

As I was cruising Twitter yesterday my friend Cali Lewis (@calilewis) tweeted that John Pozadzides (@johnpoz) was “showing off the Zomm at dinner.” Ok, what the heck is a Zomm? I was intrigued and went the their web site www.zomm.comto look at this gadget I’d never heard of. You see it seems that since I turned about 45 my memory is not one of my strongest attributes. I often forget my iPhone in the house, or I panic because I think I have lost it but left it in the house. As I read about what the Zomm could do for $79.99 US., I thought maybe this is the answer to this problem.

As if we needed more proof that we live in the future we now have the Zomm. It a part Blue-tooth speakerphone, “wireless leash,” and panic button. I saw on their site that it was available at Best Buy so I went over this morning and bought one. I usually request a review unit, but given my propensity to loose things, I could not wait.

At first I thought it would be too big and the last thing I wanted was another huge dongle in my pocket. I was happily surprised that the Zomm is about the size of an old silver dollar and weighs barely a quarter of an ounce. So that for me is not a problem. I had to charge the unit for about two hours before using it, but after a very user friendly activation process (via an OS X app) the device worked just as advertised.

So here is how the Zomm works as a wireless leash. After pairing with your cell phone, it sounds an alarm, first vibrating, then flashing, and finally beeping loudly,whenever it loses the Blue-tooth link (usually at around 30 feet). I took a walk outside and about the time I got to the middle of the street sure enough I knew I did not have my iPhone 4.

So for an older guy like me the Zomm is going to keep me from forgetting my phone at home, work, or anywhere I might leave it lying around. That for me is worth the price of this device along. Now I just have to remember not to lose my keys. The Zomm also vibrates, flashes, and beeps whenever a call comes in. That’s a real advantage as sometimes I don’t feel my iPhone 4 when its on vibrate only mode.

Read the full review

Thursday, August 12th, 2010 Features ZOMM

Summer Travel: Blue(tooth) Laws

Today, many people think driving and talking on the phone is as American as driving a convertible in the sun while blasting the Beach Boys on the radio. But talking (and texting) on the phone is a dangerous past time that legislators are trying to curb. In fact, in at least eight states, including New York and New Jersey, it is illegal to use a cell phone while driving unless you use a hands-free device, according to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

There are a myriad of wireless Bluetooth speakerphones and headsets for drivers, but only a couple of models stand out. This week, I look at two of the best choices, as well as two new gadgets for people who must, absolutely must, have their cell phone with them at all times.

Zomm, $80

Leaving your phone behind can be more than just inconvenient. In an emergency, it may mean you cannot summon help. And if you leave your phone in, say, a cab and it’s stolen, you could end up the victim of identity theft.

A nifty little solution to this modern day problem is the Zomm, a pebble-shaped Bluetooth device
that can be clipped to a set of keys or a purse and paired with your phone. Then, should you travel more than 30 feet from your phone, the Zomm starts emitting an alarm. Think of it as an electronic leash that tethers you to your phone.

Read the full story

Friday, August 6th, 2010

ABC News Features ZOMM on Nationally Televised Segment

Latest Summer Gadgets

Tech guru Greg Harper on summer’s hottest products

Watch the video on ABC News

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010

Making the Switch to a Smartphone

Ready to make the switch…to a smartphone? Seems like everyone these days is making the switch. In fact, Nielson estimates that there will be 150 million smartphone users by mid 2011. That means people are saying sayonara to traditional mobile phones and adopting smartphones with open arms.

There are a lot of mobile smartphones on the market—and it can be hard to decide which is right for you. We’ve come up with a few recommendations (with the help of, categorized by price. We hope our guide will help you choose the right smartphone for you!

Under $100:

Samsung Moment

This smartphone from Samsung features a slide-out QWERTY keyboard and a 3.2 megapixel camera with a flash. In addition, it has 3G, WiFi and AMOLED touchscreen.

Blackberry Curve 8530

Available on all of the major networks, this is the latest in the Curve line of Blackberrys. Along with a QWERTY keyboard, the Curve 8530 has access to WiFi and 3G as well as the Blackberry App world.

$100 – $300

Motorola Droid

The first smartphone to be released exclusively on the Verizon network, the Droid offers tons of great features, including 16 GB of removable storage and a 5 MPx camera (with flash).

HTC Droid Incredible

The massive size of this wireless smartphone’s touchscreen makes it perfect for utilizing the 30,000 apps available from the Android Market. The 8-megapixel camera makes it more like a camera that happens to also be a phone.

Over $300

Apple iPhone 4

If you haven’t heard of this 3G smartphone, you literally must be living under a rock. Even with the controversy around “Antenna-gate,” this phone is still as popular as ever. The new face-time feature and multi-tasking capabilites of iOS4 make this one of the smartest smartphones around.

Nokia N900

For $550 you can pick up the Nokia N900 – featuring 32 GB of storage, 3G, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth®. The sliding keyboard makes texting a breeze and the extra-large WVGA touchscreen offers a great view of media.

If you’re going to be dishing out the big bucks for one of these mobile smartphones, shouldn’t you want to protect it? Eliminate the risk of losing or forgetting your newest investment by investing in a ZOMM. Our Bluetooth Wireless Leash™ is compatible with all of the smartphones listed here—and will make certain you never lose your phone again.

ZOMM wireless leash on keychain

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Los Angeles Times Features ZOMM

Travel gear: Wireless leash keeps your cellphone from wandering

Worried about losing your cell phone? For $79.99, you can buy some peace of mind.

ZOMM is a wireless “leash,” alarm and speakerphone that uses Bluetooth technology to pair with a cellphone. When ZOMM and your cellphone are separated by 30 feet or more, ZOMM vibrates, then its lights flash and finally its alarm sounds. It sounds like something that Apple should hand out to employees, given how often iPhone prototypes show up in the wrong hands. (Yes, it works with iPhones.)

The device also has a built-in panic feature to activate for help, which I find comforting as a solo traveler. If you keep depressing the panic button, it will make your cell phone dial 9-1-1 or another emergency number that you specify. ZOMM is designed to pair with any Bluetooth phone.

Read the full article

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

Top 10 Must-Have Smartphone Apps

As you know, ZOMM works via Bluetooth. This wireless connection provides the perfect way to alert you if you get too far away from your phone. Because ZOMM works via Bluetooth, there is no need to download any additional software or apps to make the ZOMM work. Simply pair it with your Bluetooth-capable phone (which is pretty much any phone out there) and you’re ready to go!

This lack of an app or software to download for ZOMM leaves more room on your phone for other cool, free apps! (sorry non-smartphone users…)

Check out our list of the top 10 must-have smartphone apps, ranging from useful to just plain silly:

10. MEanderthal—We’ll start with a useless, but very entertaining app. Snap a photo of someone and instantly mutate them into a pre-historic man (or woman), beard and all. You’ll never struggle to find the right Facebook default photo again.

9. Shazam—Win every “name that tune” bet with this mobile phone app. Shazam can identify the song title, artist and album by hearing a few seconds of the song in question. It’s like magic!

8.—No need to mess with the entire online store. The Amazon app condenses the store to only the essentials. Search, choose and buy within a matter of minutes—all from your phone.

7. Skype—Exactly like the desktop version. Free calls to other skypers over a WiFi network. Purchase Skype credit and you can call cell phones here or abroad!

6. Live Scores (Android) or ESPN ScoreCenter (iPhone)—Keep track of your favorite teams no matter what meeting, luncheon or class you must attend. A must-have mobile app for sports-fans everywhere.

5. Bump—Need to swap pictures or data with a fellow iPhone user. Just want to compare contact lists to see who you both know? Do it all with Bump. Literally bump your phones together to exchange info.

4. Pandora—Take the music genome with you wherever you go. The free Pandora mobile app allows you to login to your existing accounts and listen to all of your stations.

3. Drive—Texting and driving do not mix. is a portable app that reads your text messages aloud—no need to touch your phone! It even sends an auto response letting the other person know you’ve gotten their message. (Currently available for Blackberry and Android phones, iPhone coming soon)

2. The Weather Channel—Need a weather update? Wondering if the current storm will turn into a tornado? The Weather Channel puts all of this info at your fingertips with their free app.

1. Google – One of the best apps from Google. Just speak and Google will yield results. This hands-free voice search is perfect for choosing a restaurant and finding your way via Google Maps.

After getting these great apps for your iPhone, Blackberry or Droid, you really won’t want to lose it. So between app purchases, take the time to check out the ZOMM store. The alarmingly smart ZOMM will make sure you never lose your phone—or your favorite apps—again.

Friday, June 18th, 2010

Apple iPhone users: Who are they?

In light of the new iPhone coming out next weekend, here at ZOMM we’ve been doing a little thinking. Since the Apple iPhone was first introduced in 2007, it has become a pop-culture phenomenon. These days you see everyone from high-power business executives to movie stars and even soccer moms (and grandmas) checking e-mail, surfing the web and in general, being completely engrossed in their iPhones.

So, what do we know about iPhone users? The Nielson Company conducted several surveys to answer that very question.

  1. In general, the number of smartphone users is increasing.According to Nielson’s research, 23% of mobile consumers now have a smartphone, up from just 16% last year. While this statistic may not tell us who iPhone users are, it does tell us that there are a lot of them out there.
  2. iPhone users run the age gamut.Only 47% of iPhone users are under the age of 34. This means that the older generations are taking to the Apple Smartphone more so than the young, 20-something crowd. However, the male-female split is right at 50/50.
  3. iPhone users are loyal and happy consumers.80% of Apple iPhone users want their next device to be an iPhone as well. A majority of them would recommend it (like an iPhone 3GS) to their friends.
  4. iPhone users love to watch videos.Bringing the power of video to our fingertips—and on our mobile phones—is a huge accomplishment for Apple. And apparently, it was the right decision. 37% of iPhone 3G and iPhone 3GS users watch video on their phone. (Speaking of, why not watch a few videos right now?)
  5. Okay, iPhone users just love to use their iPhones.98% of iPhone users utilize the data features of their phone, 88% surf the Internet and 75% download the all-too-well known iPhone apps (heck there’s probably an app for finding out these very statistics).

Now, we didn’t find statistics about how many of these iPhone-loving folks have ever left their precious phones behind (or lost them completely) but we’re sure it’s happened. So as you head out to buy your first iPhone or upgrade to the iPhone 4, you should probably make a stop at the ZOMM online store an item on your to-do list.

Because if you don’t want to lose it, you better put a (wireless) leash on it.

  • ZOMM Loves Female Innovators

    As many know, ZOMM was invented by Laurie Penix, the mom of the Penix family. Laurie recalls being on the treadmill, watching Oprah, when a phone call from a girlfriend inspired her to look further into the idea of a wireless leash. Inspired by Laurie’s innovation, we’ve taken it upon ourselves to find some of the other top mompreneurs to share with – and hopefully inspire – everyone....

  • Keep Your Children Safe – Alternate Uses for ZOMM Wireless Leash

    In light of this spring’s annual National Safe Kids Week, we wanted to share these alternate uses of our Wireless Leash. Keep reading to find out how ZOMM can keep your toddlers and teens safe…...

  • A Lot Can Happen in a Year! ZOMM 2010 Wrap-up

    2010 has come and gone! Here's ZOMM's 201 Wrap-up....

  • Latest ZOMM Happenings

    As usual, things have been super busy in the ZOMM headquarters this fall. We’ve been busy traveling to conferences like Opencamp and shows like CTIA’s Mobile Focus in order to spread the word about ZOMM....

  • ZOMM = A Mother’s Peace of Mind

    With my two girls being on their own this summer, I felt better knowing they had their ZOMMs. I knew that with a ZOMM in hand, they would drive safer by using the call notification and speakerphone feature. ...