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DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHY / INDUSTRY

Nifty Gadgets, Blondes, + Robots Carving Up OZ Market

By David Richards | Friday | 11/10/2013

Blondes and Robots came ahead of some very nifty products for Melbourne based distributor Blonde Robot who yesterday rolled out a motion control product exclusively via Dick Smith, Move and David Jones stores.

According to Dan Miall who is a Director and "Product Guy" at Blonde Robot a lot goes into researching and selecting products that they believe will be the next big thing and right now the company appears to be getting its product distribution selection right.

Founded in 2010, the Company has so far managed to snare the rights to the GoPro action camera which is already one of the hottest selling products in stores this year.

It has also has the super cool but radical Lytro camera; this is the product that created a lot of excitement when the New York Times wrote about a small company promising to make focus errors a thing of the past.

The camera that allows users to focus after you take the picture is already proving popular in Australia despite its odd oblong shape.


Click to enlarge
Lytro Camera

According to Miall, both Blondes and Robots "are cool" which is how the company got its name and when you open up a Blonde Robot brochure you will see that each director has been given a unique robot image instead of the traditional head shot.

Described as "young Turks" by their competitors, the team at Blonde Robot is made up of non-executive Chairman Barry Calnon who is also an investor, Chris Horsley Wyatt, the Director of Operations and Eamon Drew who describes himself as "The Relationship" guy. 

During a 7.15am meeting in Martin Place Sydney, Miall who started life working with Lako Pacific and Avid an Amber Technology product said that "We are young guys who we believe are in touch with what consumers want today, with cool products and great functionality".

He joined Blonde Robot as Director after a pro video career spanning 16 years. During his career he ran the Avid Pre-Sales team for UK, Middle East and Africa and he was Post Production Systems Manager for Videocraft Australia, looking after large projects, high end installations and key Post Production accounts.

He played a key role in delivering the Sydney-based edit and production staff facility for Oprah Winfrey's recent visit to Australia.

He said that in the early days the company focused on products for the photographic and broadcast industry, but today it is cutting deals with some of the biggest mass retailers in town. 

Its latest product, Leap Motion, delivers what Miall describes as a revolutionary new way for people to do more with their

Leap Motion Controller
computers".

The $129 Leap Motion Controller senses how you move your hands and the way you naturally move them. So you can point, wave, reach, and grab, you can even pick something up and put it down on a PC or TV screen. Miall said "It's an amazing device for the things you do every day and for things you never thought you could do".

This month HP announced in the USA the HP ENVY17 Leap Motion Special Edition which incorporates Leap Motion technology inside a notebook.

The company describes it as the world's first notebook PC that is embedded with Leap Motion technology and its Airspace app platform.

The notebook uses new Leap Motion micro sensor technology that HP claims will allow for a wide range of integrations in future HP form factors.

When asked why the company had done an exclusive deal with Dick Smith to sell their Leap Motion Controller Miall said "Today distributors are working closer with retailers in the instore marketing of products. By giving a product exclusive to a box shifter as the US likes to call them, we are able to negotiate a better launch relationship while getting traction in the market for a new and exciting product".

Shortly, the company which already markets the Soen Audio range in Australia, will launch a new audio product for mass retailers.

"While we started in the photographic and broadcast markets we are now moving into the mass market with some exciting products. The GoPro product has gone well for us and we will shortly launch some additional products that we believe will also be successful in the market.

He said that the new Robot Blonde company has no connection with a Company of a similar name that in 2007 went broke leaving a trail of debt after trying to launch the Vizio brand of TV in Australia.

Soen Audio

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