First Look: I Tried The BusyBox from ‘Shark Tank’ — Is It Worth The $299 Price Tag?

BusyBox
Courtesy of BusyBox

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I must admit that I was initially perplexed when reading about BusyBox and its purpose. After learning a bit about it, I went to BusyBoxSign.com to do more research and couldn’t quite pinpoint if it was worth the price tag. Offered in three different versions (with two more on the way), ranging from $39 to $299, the BusyBox serves as a way to let people in your home or office know when you’re preoccupied and don’t want to be disturbed. 

We were most intrigued by the upcoming Busy Box D (Digital Edition), which lets you display custom text and emojis on your sign. This is the BusyBox that comes with a $299 price tag, and so far it’s only available as a pre-order on the BusyBox website.

The digital BusyBox, which just made its debut on Shark Tank on Friday, April 8, allows you to express and set the mood for your home or working environment with a simple sign that can be changed and operated remotely. With it, you can let people know when you need quiet, when you’re in a meeting, recording, or show off your mood with a Memoji or emoji.

The BusyBox founder made his big debut on Shark Tank with big New England energy, asking for $200,000 for a 15% stake in his company. The sharks had the exact same reaction that we did: why does it cost so much? Ultimately, the sharks passed on the BusyBox, but we did get the chance to test out this product for ourselves.

When looking at the BusyBox D, I thought, wouldn’t a cardboard sign, color LED lightbulb or a simple piece of paper with “DND” written on it suffice? It seemed like an unnecessary novelty that could be fun at first but a waste of money in the long run. Then the BusyBox D arrived at my doorstep. I instantly became intrigued by how cool it looked and its potential to be useful, especially for influencers, podcasters and other creative professionals working from home.

Keep reading for our full review of the BusyBox.

Learn More About the BusyBox Digital Model

Busy Box: At a Glance

  • 8.2-by-3.5-by-1.3-inch color LED sign
  • Customizable TFT LCD digital display
  • 1280 x 480 pixels
  • 10,000 mAh battery
  • Side buttons for manual control
  • Works in conjunction with BusyBox Control App (Android and iOS)
  

Setup and Installation

The BusyBox Sign comes with an easy-to-follow visual setup guide that you can easily access by going to BusyBoxSign.com/setup. It walks you through five simple steps to help you assemble and charge your BusyBox and download the associated app. Once you download the app, you can connect your device to your phone via Bluetooth and remotely operate it to turn it on and off, select light colors, and set modes.

After assembling it, I found the device extremely simple to navigate and use. It arrived with enough battery power to be operational for a short time but requires a full charge to work correctly. It comes with a USB-C cable I used to power it up and a cover that frames it nicely for your wall or desktop.

    

Design

Fundamentally, it operates as advertised. I tried various text and emojis to make fun signs and loved how simple it was to use. Accompanying the device is a faceplate frame that you can change to customize the look you’d like. It’s small and compact yet large enough to read. It comes with Command Strips that make mounting easy. Alternatively, you can purchase a tripod and set it on tabletops, desks, and counters for a more fuss-free approach.

The BusyBox can work in conjunction with the BusyBox Control app for hands-free use, and you can even pair it with Google Calendar or Siri for easy setting.

busybox Nina Bradley | SPY
BusyBox Nina Bradley | SPY
  

 Quality

The BusyBox is durable and simple to hang or use with a small attachment piece that can be secured to a tripod and placed on your desk. It’s sleek and streamlined in design and looks great but is easy to set up and operate. It felt sturdy, and the screen was about as bright as your cell phone, but I only had it for a short time. I couldn’t put it through a comprehensive test of dings, drops, or judge the total battery capacity. 

busy box Courtesy of Nina Bradley
  

Our Verdict

It’s a tough call since I loved the fun of switching between text and emojis. However, I’m still not entirely sold, given the steep $299 price tag. The main benefit of the BusyBox is to let people know when you’re in a meeting, recording a video, or working and don’t want to be disturbed. It feels that there are many other cheaper ways to convey the message. Perhaps, the BusyBox Button or BusyBox S would be a better starting point for those interested in the novelty of the item for less.

  

So Should You Try it?

Yes — If you have the money. If you’re looking for something that keeps family at bay as you work from home, record TikToks or podcasts, or simply want to be left alone, the BusyBox is fun. If the price tag of the digital BusyBox D is a turn-off, you can try to use the brand’s other, lower-cost options such as BusyBox Button ($39) or BusyBox S ($129). However, the satisfying part for me was being able to add my own custom text and emojis, which is only available on the highest-priced option. So if that is what you’re after, and don’t want to drop the cash, then pass.

Pros

  • A fun way to display your status
  • Durable and high quality
  • Bright and vibrant splay screen that can showcase text and emojis
  • Three price options are available: $39, $129 and $299

Cons

  • $299 price for digital BusyBox feels too expensive

Learn More About the BusyBox Digital Model

  

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