OXNARD, CALIF. — Scosche Industries, the car audio, installation hardware and CE accessory manufacturer, is celebrating its 35th anniversary this year. The company was founded by the Alves family in a California garage in 1980, as the story goes, and it now has inroads around the world.
While its roots may be in the aftermarket car category, it now sells in the ever-crowded and extremely active wearables and portable audio categories. TWICE emailed with executive VP Kas Alves, who has been with Scosche for 20 years, to learn how it has weathered the competition over the years and where it sees the industry heading.
TWICE:What lead you to enter wearables and why a heart-rate monitor?
Kas Alves: Scosche was challenged with the opportunity to design, build and produce the first ever armbandstyle wireless heart-rate monitor that worked thru an app. Today, in its third generation, the Scosche Rhythm+ is the world’s most accurate armband (non-chest-strap version) wireless heart-rate monitor.
TWICE:As more vehicle technology gets implemented directly into the dash via OEM, what do you think is the future for the car-mount market?
Alves: The future is bright for smartphone and tablet mounts in vehicles. Scosche reinvented the mounting system concept with our MagicMount Magnetic Mount System. Secure, simple, quick and convenient access and visibility to your phone or tablet are vital in today’s vehicles and MagicMount delivers that. Plus, it’s so versatile that it can work in many other non-vehicle environments like the home, office, boats and more.
TWICE:Which one of your categories was the biggest surprise to you, either for its success or for lack thereof?
Alves: I’d have to say the wireless armband heart-rate monitor has to be the biggest surprise. When we launched this product, it was the only armband-style heart-rate monitor on the market and it worked with an app. So it was really revolutionary and leading edge.
TWICE:How do you compete in the portable Bluetooth speaker market, a category that has exploded with manufacturers?
Alves: Through innovation. Scosche is a user innovation company that invented the most versatile, wireless Bluetooth speaker on the market — BoomBottle. Now we offer a full range of BoomBottles, from the Mini, to H2O, to the brand new Plus (+).
TWICE: How goes the headphones category? What kind of innovation do you see coming down the pipeline?
Alves: Small, wireless, in-ear monitors with heartrate technology.
TWICE:How have you adjusted your distribution strategies for CE accessories as e-commerce has evolved?
Alves: We have a strict MAP pricing policy and customized marketing strategy for CE and customers with e-commerce.
TWICE:Any upcoming product details you can share?
Alves: We have a broad array of terrific new products slated for 2015. These new products cover many of the most popular consumer technology/electronics categories, including portable speakers, headphone/ear buds, power and connect products, and more. Some were specifically envisioned and created to address the increasing popularity of these types of products being taken and used in diverse outdoor environments like the beach, desert, snow and mountains.
We believe that products that must perform and last in such a diverse range of conditions must be “Optimized for Outdoors.” We are also expanding our MagicMount family with the addition of the XL series. The XLs are specifically designed for tablets.