This week at the International CES, I was honored to sit down with Andrea Smith of MommyTech TV (link coming soon!) and share some of my favorite products for families that I had seen at the show early on. I knew exactly what I wanted my first pick to be: The Triby wireless hands-free speaker by French company, Invoxia. If you’re someone like me who’s ditched the land line at home, or who’d like an excuse to, this is the perfect way to do just that, while still keeping the home front connected.
It’s essentially a Bluetooth-enabled speaker phone that can prop on on a counter, carry around, or stick to a magnetized refrigerator door. It’s got several buttons that can dial parents or an emergency number directly. No numbers to remember–just a simple push of a button to connect, with solid HD sound for listening. Essentially, it creates a network between your phone, perhaps your spouse or partner’s phone, and the base unit at home–up to five units can be linked.
When you’re home, you can also answer your own incoming calls through the Triby, should you want a hands-free option. It connects your devices over Wi-Fi and Bluetooth creating a mini network; think of it the same way iMessage can work across multiple devices. So of course you can make calls to the Triby too, if you’re away and want to say hi the kids. I think that’s especially great if you want to bypass the babysitter and call younger kids who don’t have their own phones yet through the Triby app on your device.
(UPDATE: This works with any smartphone that has the Triby app installed. There’s currently an iOS app, with Android in beta.)
There are a few other benefits too, like streaming Internet radio so you can crank the Spotify or Pandora in the kitchen, though I am not sure the speaker is up to the task the way a dedicated Bluetooth speaker or a Sonos Play will be. There’s also the ability to send little drawings from your phone right to the Triby e-ink screen which I find a little gimmicky; but hey, if Apple Watch is doing it, then why not.
The device is very lightweight and portable, with a handle meant for carrying, but I do like the idea of docking it in a single place so you always know where to find it.
Knowing my kids, it would end up in a Monopoly box or inside the produce drawer in the fridge or something.
You should get about a month of use on a single USB charge which is pretty great, considering the strongest use for this is the peace of mind knowing that there’s always a line out available for the kids. Sometimes my mind goes to that dark place of what if something happened to me and my kids couldn’t find my phone? If you know what I’m talking about, then you totally see the genius of a device like this.
Find more info about the Triby hands-free wireless speaker phone at the Invoxia site which will retail for $199 when it ships this summer.
Triby Photo: Jon Armstrong for Cool Mom Tech