Getting Relay ready for play: From the lab to the playground


#1

Originally published at: https://blog.relaygo.com/getting-relay-ready-for-play/

We hope that you’re as excited about the Relay launch as we are. Relay has come a long way from the drawing board to where it is now. As parents and as a tech company, we’re excited by Relay’s evolution and proud to share it from our family to yours. Talking with the innovators behind Relay. First, we talked with engineers Pete and Sam about how Relay works. Pete makes sure the features we add to Relay run smoothly and Sam works with Relay’s design. It may seem like a magical mystery box, but Pete and Sam can show us the…


Channels and coverage
#2

I thought I read that this could be connected to Google Assistant. I don’t see that as a channel option. It seems to me that Google Assistant is really powerful and could allow for a great deal of customization as to what can and cannot be done with this.


#3

I am extremely excited about this concept and believe there is a big opportunity here if done right. My wife and I were just talking about how to tackle the challenge of giving our 3 boys a little bit more freedom and we stumbled upon this. Keep it simple, really good at what it does (and don’t be afraid of what it doesn’t do), and don’t try to overcook it. I’d be very happy to help in testing or any other way possible (ex. spreading the word!). Best of luck as you move towards a formal product launch - thanks for doing this!


#4

You seem to be targeting this toward families with kids. Nothing wrong with that, but it has potential for so much more. Groups of adults, anyone who wants or needs to keep in touch but wants the simplicity of a screenless, one-button interface and/or wants to avoid the temptation and distraction of a conventional screen-bearing device.I do hope you intend to explore the vast possibilities and not confine yourself to the narrow “family” market. I’d hate to see such a fabulous product reduced to the role of a glorified electronic child-leash.


#5

I’m glad you brought that up, @ericw.vtzimp! We are committed to constantly improving Relay by adding new features and channels. The Google Assistant channel is most certainly in the works.


#6

Thanks for sharing, @homelessonwheels! I think you’re right. While Relay is a great product for families, the potential most certainly doesn’t stop there. I know that I intend to take a Relay with me when I go jogging or when I need some “unplugged time.” We love hearing about all the different ways Relay can be useful!


#7

As a father of 6 I am excited to get a chance to try this out! It looks like just what we are looking for. :smile:


#8

Thank you so much for Relay! I cannot wait to put it to use with our kids. So grateful for a non-smartphone means of keeping in touch as they start gaining a little more freedom.


#9

I am SO EXCITED for these! I have two boys with Autism/ADHD/Anxiety and we are not quite ready to give them cell phones. These tick off all the boxes of the things we need for them! My boys are thrilled to be getting their own “special walkie talkies” as they call them! Can’t wait for this to be released!


#10

My son deals with very similar issues and he LOVES his Relay. It’s a perfect fit for him and his needs (he’s 9).


#11

If you already have it, how can we get them? I thought they were going to use us in the trials but I haven’t received information to that regard yet. I would certainly like a chance to test the validity against other similar products that I have already been less that pleased with. I have 3 Autistic Children, ranging in their abilities, but all certainly active and mobile in the community. I was excited to try Relay ever since I first found it on the web. I do hope it’s as Awesome as it portrays, or even more!


#12

they are hoping to have a release in the 2nd quarter of this year (so before June 30th 2018)


#13

Hi @Mamajewelbear - Sorry, I should have clarified - I am a Republic Wireless employee and my son has been beta testing Relay in our internal tests. I can vouch that it’s worked amazingly well for our needs. My son is sensory-seeking so he loves the tactile feel of Relay from the feel of the plastic to the bumps in the speaker to the way the button feels when he presses down on it. The LED ring is a visual sensory experience as well that he really likes and lastly, he just loves the sound. Sometimes he will put it up to his ear to “feel” the sound and there is an “echo” mode where the Relay can repeat back to you what you say. He plays in this mode for long periods of time and will do all sorts of things like sing silly songs to making regular conversational statements to yelling or screaming. It’s been incredible for him from a sensory-seeking standpoint.


#14

Ok, is there any way we CAN be part of the trials? I have been using the Angelsense device and it seems the quality of both their products AND services are on the decline. I love how Relay has developed the actual 2 way communication, that many Angelsense users have wished to have for the longest! How is the actual tracking of Relay? Does it do well indoors or is is as vague as google maps when sharing location with others…
I know other adults are interested, and that’s cool, but I wanted to clarify something. For a single parent with 3 kids, is it necessary to purchase 4 Relays (one for each of us) or is 3 sufficient and I just run the app on my phone? Would it be more beneficial to have the fourth one?


#15

They have said there will be an external beta, and that customers will be involved, but that it will be limited and they will select from those that registered on the relaygo.com website for more info.

I’m sure an employee with chime in here, but as I understand it, as the tracking is going to be by GPS, it’ll have both the same advantages and disadvantages that a smartphone would have. Meaning, since the “view” of satellites is limited indoors, tracking will be a lot less precise there.

You’ve gotten the model just right. You could avoid a 4th unit by using the app on your phone. I think the advantage is actually to the app as you’ll be able to use it to configure your kids devices, use the tracking features, etc.


#16

Well said @louisdi

To confirm your point about GPS: Relay will have the same opportunity for accuracy as any cell phone. The experience will be similar to what you experience in a smartphone @mamajewelbear

A more technical (re: over my head) explanation from our engineering team: “but understand that a cell phone’s accuracy is user configurable, leveraging WiFi access points if desired but even with WiFi AP, triangulation accuracy depends upon the availability of multiple access points.”


#17

The Relay seems like it could be used effectively in health care situations as well.

For example: my elderly Mother is infirm and has never even owned a cellphone.

I think she could probably to use the Relay in limited capacity.
It could be a nice option for my elderly Father, (who is surprisingly tech adept and active), when running errands, outside in the yard or in the basement, etc.


#18

I would like to hear more about ways of carrying the relay device. I had been thinking it would be great to have when we visit places like Disney World, Sea World, and Busch Gardens. My wife and I are visiting Disney this week, and I notice how we use our cell phones to communicate. Mine is usually in my pocket and I may hear it ring or notify me. My wife carried hers in a fanny pack and hears nothing unless she takes it out to check.
I’m thinking of ways to use the magnet capability of the device to attach to clothing like name badges are used.
I haven’t seen enough about the wrist band and it seems it would be too large for a childs wrist, and I wonder where the child will carry these as many have no pockets or small pockets.


Relay Questions Answered
#19

I am also wondering about an effective way for my children to carry a relay device.

We are currently using walkie talkies, which have inherent limitations. I like the concept of the relay but the promotional materials repeatedly show the relay set in the grass near children playing or being active. As a mom of two in the 9-11 age range, I know full well that if these aren’t somehow attached to my kids they will get left at the park more than they will come home. Our walkie talkies have a belt clip which helps. What kind of carry options will we see for kids who rarely wear clothes with pockets?

Also, are the devices waterproof or will a trip to the creek render them useless?


#20

There will definitely be Relay accessories available! We are working on what types, but expect to things similar to clips like you have mentioned above. We definitely understand how important it is to make sure there is an easy way for your kids to keep their Relays on them via different accessories.
Relay is water resistant! So although it can withstand a good splash here and there, we wouldn’t recommend taking it swimming :wink: