Jaybird earphone success is music to Judd’s ears
A Griffith business graduate has turned his passion for technology and fitness into a $95 million deal with Logitech
Judd Armstrong took the expertise from Griffith University’s sports technology research and coupled it with his own knowledge and drive for success. The product was Jaybird — the wireless sports earphones that revolutionised fitness and the result was a US$95 million business deal with consumer technology behemoths Logitech.
The Griffith Business School graduate, sold his wearable technology company, Jaybird, in 2016. The deal is worth approximately US$50 million in cash, with an additional earn-out of up to US$45 million based on achievement of growth targets over the next two years.
Jaybird was set up in Utah, USA, by the entrepreneurial Armstrong in 2006. It has grown into one of the world’s largest sellers of wireless audio wearables for sports and active lifestyles.
“It has been an incredible journey. We love what we do, and we’re stoked to continue to innovate and bring amazing new products to our fans,” Armstrong, a Bachelor of International Business graduate, says.
“Jaybird will benefit from Logitech’s global distribution network and deep engineering prowess. We’ve watched as they’ve connected incredible products with passionate consumers under the UE brand, and we’re thrilled to be part of the team.”
Jaybird has pioneered premium wireless audio for sports through its focus on bringing music to active lifestyles. Their award-winning BlueBuds X and, more recently, X2 wireless buds enjoy a strong following among the active lifestyle set, especially in the US.
Armstrong has previously highlighted the education and technological knowledge gained at Griffith University, and its role in getting his business both started and successful.
“One of the great technologies we were able to leverage was Griffith’s expertise in the ability to detect the movements of different sporting activities,” he says.
“Griffith has been working with professional athletes and sporting teams for a long, long time. So we took some of their technology and rolled that into a consumer product.”
The technology integral to the development of Jaybird’s ‘Reign’ lifestyle band is the SABEL human movement monitoring system, developed at Griffith’s SABEL Labs headed by Associate Professor Danny James.
The wearable fitness and health monitoring market has boomed in the last three years and includes companies such as FitBit, Garmin, Nike, Polar, Jawbone and more.
The sector is expected to grow to US$20 billion in 2015 to almost US$70 billion in 2025.