Ex-Sonos Manager Brings Nonda DIY Smart Car Accessories To ANZ
Californian start-up nonda is looking to take their ZUS range global, with the company’s ecosystem of smart accessories having now secured distribution in Australia and New Zealand.
The company formed in 2014, went on to win awards in 2015 and 2016 and is now taking their biggest product international.
Pronounced like the Greek god, the ZUS Smart Car Charger makes a compelling case for a product ecosystem that delivers many of the same smart features you’ll find in modern cars as well as some that you won’t.
Trevor Rooney, a veteran of the audio industry and ex-Sonos senior manager involved in brand’s ANZ expansion, describes the car charger as “the brain” and “the core piece” of the company’s range.
While many cars still lack USB ports, the vast majority still feature a “cigarette lighter” AC output. The ZUS car charger latches onto this and – working in tandem with the rest of the range – allows you to save and record your cars location, setup parking meter alerts and keep track of your day to day business / personal mileage
The range also includes a heavy-duty fibre charging cable.
Nonda say the cable is guaranteed for life, marketing it as “the last cable you’ll ever need to buy.”.
There are even tyre and reversing sensors coming to flesh out the range at a later date.
Trevor, now a senior manager of sales at the German-founded 360 Service Agency, is evangelical about the product.
“The innovation is the key for me. My history is with Sonos and it takes a lot for me to turn my head” he says.
Specifically, “one of the great things about the company is that they’re constantly evolving around the central piece,” Trevor states.
When set up, the ZUS Car Charger depends on your cars battery to function. However, once your car is turned off the device ceases to draw power and passes all relevant data to the ZUS app on your smartphone.
“The app is storing everything for you and as you move around its feeding you information,” Trevor says.
He says “when you use it, it records every trip that you do and you simply pop into the app and dictate whether it’s a business or personal trip”, a feature that promises to make tracking expenses far easier.
“The consensus from young to old has been that this is a product users want,” Trevor says, and it’s one he believes has the potential to introduce a whole generation to the potential of the smart car accessories market.
Another thing that Trevor says “blew [him] away” was the build quality of the product.
Even when it comes to the less smart features, like charging, Trevor’s enthusiasm for nonda is untempered.
“A lot of the USB-chargers in the cars use trickle-charge, which is quite slow [compared to ZUS],” he says.
Now at a point where they’ve been in the US market for a while, nonda managed to ship 360,000 ZUS units in the first year.
They’re forecasting 2+ million connected car devices in 2017.
Speaking about the nonda’s approach to the Australian market, Trevor describes it as multi-pronged. He says they’ll be looking to have the range retail in “the usual CE-partners” alongside a few “left of centre places.”
“Lifestyle stores, book stores, coffee shops,” he says.
Rooney confirmed the range will be distributed by Lacklands in New Zealand and Ingram Micro and Brightstar in Australia.
He’s positive that the low cost of entry will unlock the potential of the smart car accessory market, saying that the broad feature-set of nonda’s range will map well onto the range of trigger-points for would-be customers.
“For some people, it’s the parking meter. For some, it’s the GPS” he says.
According to him, “anywhere where people are buying tech this is a product people are going to want.”
The nonda Car Charger will arrive in Australian retailers in March 2017 at an RRP of $69.95.