When Dr. Andrew Proos of Northborough was training for the Marine Corps Marathon in 2009, the anesthesiologist’s concerns over remaining alert to his surroundings outweighed his preference of running to music.
He resolved to find a compromise three years later while witnessing a fellow half-marathoner who was wearing earbuds inadvertently block an ambulance because she didn’t hear its siren.
Last year, Proos formed Bluewire Audio LLC with his daughter Emily, a 2015 Babson College graduate who is CEO of the organization.
They worked with Ideology Product Design and Development in Attleboro and Pilgrim Innovative Plastics in Plymouth to manufacture a prototype that will launch at the John Hancock Sports & Fitness Expo kicking off the Boston Marathon from April 15 to 17 at the Hynes Convention Center in Boston.
Q. What was the impetus for turning your idea into a product?
Andrew: We saw the void in the market. I started experimenting by gluing earbuds to my shirt, and then it evolved to hiding them inside a hat. Meanwhile, every time I went to a race for six years, I’d look at the expo to see if anyone had come up with my idea.
Q. How do you describe the Bluewire Audio Speaker System?
Emily: It’s a set of small, interchangeable speakers mounted on the outside of a cap or visor. They preserve ambient sound so you can still hear what’s going on around you, and you don’t have to worry about earbuds falling out or getting tangled.
Q. What is the price?
Emily: The full package that includes a hat, the speakers, and a Bluetooth receiver costs $97.50. For just the speakers and a hat, it’s $67.50. We donate 5 percent of all profits to charitable causes.
Q. What is your current challenge?
Andrew: Moving into full-scale production. We already filmed a video for the Kickstarter campaign that we’re planning to launch soon to make that happen.
Q. How is running a business with a family member?
Andrew: We started working together formally in the summer of 2014, and so far, it’s been great. Emily has the business background, so none of this would be feasible without her. This is my second career, and she gives me extra inspiration to push on and make it work.
Emily: It’s nice working with my dad. It has brought a different aspect of our relationship to light, rather than just being father and daughter. We’re both really happy.
For more information, visit bluewireaudio.com.
Cindy Cantrell may be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.