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Milo: Bringing Hands Free Communication Wherever You Are

Named one of TIME magazine’s Best Inventions of 2022 and recipient of The Red Dot – the most prestigious international design award out there, Milo is revolutionising communication in the outdoor sports industry. The brand’s CCO Jan McNair dropped by to give us the lowdown on the brands history and what makes it so special.

What was the thinking behind the development of Milo?
INSPIRED BY ADVENTURE

Standing at the top of one of Whistler’s iconic powder-covered black diamond runs one morning in early 2017, our founder Peter Celinski saw his two kids drop and disappear into the trees. He tried to call after them to stop, but it was no use. He had no choice but to follow. Reaching them at the bottom of the run after multiple falls, he realized that it was essential to be able to communicate in the midst of the action.

After extensively testing other products – from analogue walkie-talkies to expensive digital portable radios – it became clear that nothing enabled a simple, hands-free way of communicating on the go. With a background in wireless networking and audio, Peter assembled a small team and got to work.

Peter’s vision? The ‘GoPro of walkie-talkies’ – a simple device that didn’t require the user to push a button to talk and provided clear audio in even the most extreme conditions.
After more than 5 years of product design and engineering by our world-class team, Milo was ready to hit the slopes, surf and trails.

Milo makes shared adventures better by connecting people in the moments that matter.

What is Milo’s USP?
Milo™ – The Action Communicator™ is the walkie-talkie reimagined.

It enables hands-free (no buttons to push), multi-way, group voice conversation, allowing adventurers to speak while on the trails, slopes or water. No phones or Wi-Fi needed, so everybody in the group can share the moment, in the moment. Waterproof and rugged with clear voice in all conditions. Optional connection to BT headphones for enhanced privacy.

Finally – the Milo Action Communicator is software upgradeable via the App. It means that consumers will receive upgrades with extended performance and new features on a regular basis. Milo in snow

Please tell us about the awards Milo has won and how this propelled the brand forward?
Our relentless focus on delivering an exceptional user interface led to Milo being selected as one of TIME’s 2022 Best Inventions.

Milo won the IDEA Gold Award for 2022 in the Sports category, ahead of Beats and Tempo. Recent winners of the Gold Award include the iPhone, Tesla Model S and Xbox. As a Gold Award winner, Milo was entered into the permanent collection of The Henry Ford museum.

The Red Dot is the most prestigious international design award. Milo was awarded the highest honour, receiving the Best of the Best award in 2022.

How do you see the action communicator market developing over the next few years?
The market will increase significantly as the awareness of Milo goes up and people get to know about the concept. This is not about replacing the walkie talkie market. Milo is a new concept that will create a new market on its own for everybody enjoying group sports and outdoor activities. Milo creates huge value for people training others – “Real Time Training”. Lastly, Milo also adds significant value for teams working in construction and other businesses. Milo mountain bike

What is currently your top performing European market and why?
The Milo adventure started with focus on skiing and in our first year, we have seen great sales to countries with ski-destinations like France, Austria & Switzerland. However, with Milo being adopted by people biking, hiking, fishing and doing water sports, we now see the UK becoming the best performing market. We believe this to be impacted by early tech adoption.

How is Milo distributed across Europe?
We have a strong distributor, Aqipa, and they make sure to provide top service to smaller and larger resellers across Europe. We work with larger outdoor resellers as well as Specialty Retailers. We are keen to expand our distribution network with engaged channel partners within the various vertical markets like Skiing, Biking, Hiking, Climbing, Maritime Sports, Fishing, Hunting etc.

Please explain how Milo’s unique mesh network works.
Milos™ create a private secure mesh radio network. No Wi-Fi or phone signal needed. The range between two grouped Milos™ in clear terrain is around 1000 meters. When you extend the group size, Milo will use any of the grouped Milo’s as a repeater to provide the best signal and thus also increase the range.

Why should retailers carry your product?
Milo provides a significant business opportunity for pro-active retailers. The Milo customer is using Milo for multiple activities and sports across the year. The Milo consumer buy 3 Milo’s on average representing a strong revenue driver with a good profit per customer – and people come back for more when their friends are invited to join the experience. The market is increasing rapidly – not only for consumers but also for business applications.

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