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The History of the Boombot

Ghetto fab-o-lous skullyboom circa 2009

The original Boombot was conceived as an alternative to headphones. The founder of Boombotix, Lief Storer, was commuting via bicycle to and from work across a mile of traffic and three miles of bayside estuary. He wanted something that would be safer than headphones while also immersing himself in the outdoors with his music. He worked as an engineer by day and an artist by night. When the company flew him to Taiwan to work on LED lighting systems, he discovered Japanese urban vinyl toy design. He began incorporating the toy medium into his work before coming across a Do-it-Yourself toy called the Skully.

The Skully featured asymmetrical eyes in a tennis ball-sized form factor. The toy was made of PVC on a rotocast. Using the shell and some off-the-shelf portable speaker components and a Motorola walkie-talkie belt clip, Lief assembled the first working prototypes. Many of his friends took interest in the product, and a company was beginning to form. Over the next year, Lief spent his off-hours meticulously refining the design to move closer to a satisfactory working prototype. The first production prototypes were tested in rain drenched San Francisco and the deep treacherous powder throughout Lake Tahoe.

By April of 2010, Lief had raised enough private equity and built enough into the design to bring the first Boombots to the market. They were super simple, featuring an on/off button, rechargeable battery, retractable audio cable, and a hip clip.

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