How it all began
How it all began
Bellman was founded and registered in 1989 by the entrepreneur Mr. Peter Jungvid. The first product, a telephone ringer with different and enhanced ring tones for use in office environments, won a competition for new ideas in 1989 by the Swedish organization “Trygghetsrådet”.
For fun, the project name was “Bellman” after the well-known Carl-Michael Bellman who wrote music tones (lyrics) for the Swedish King in the 1800 century.
The first prototype
The first prototype of the telephone ringer was made in early 1989. It was shown to a selected group of reference people who thought that the functionality was great. It was however considered so ugly that it was compared with a “Russian radio from the 1950’s”.
Following a friendly recommendation, Mr. Peter Jungvid sought assistance from an industrial designer, Professor Jan Hampf, who shaped the distinctive design and established the white and red colors that represent Bellman’s successful and popular product design until today.
In the 1990's
In 1990, the hearing clinic at Sahlgrenska University Hospital was looking for hearing solutions that could assist hard of hearing in their daily life and that were easy to install and use. The Bellman product, which now was in production, soon became an important solution for the telephone, not only for patients of Sahlgrenska but for a majority of the Swedish hearing clinics. Through this co-operation, other needs for well-functioning and designed solutions were noticed and the young Bellman company decided to focus on developing additional solutions assisting hard-of-hearing and deaf people.
In 1992, was the second product, a wireless alerting system for the doorbell, introduced. To notice the doorbell, and thus a visitor, is another challenge for hard-of-hearing and deaf which often creates social isolation. “Bellman” now became the name of the company and the name of the first telephone product was changed to “Bellman Ringer”, while the new wireless alerting system was named “Bellman Visit”. New needs were discussed closely with the hearing clinics and new products added almost every year from 1992 and forward. Bellman Visit became an important and popular system of different wireless transmitters and receivers assisting and protecting people; not only to notice the door but also the phone, baby-cry and smoke alarm.
In 1994, Bellman introduced its first personal listening, Bellman Response, for people who could not or would not like to use a hearing instrument. The sound quality was excellent and Response had a discrete design.
In 1995, Bellman AB acquired the hearing division of Häggstrands Elektriska AB in Gothenburg and new hearing solutions came into Bellman’s product range. Among them, hearing instruments from Unitron in Canada. This was a big change and Bellman AB instantly grew from 3 employees to 10 employees.
In late 1997, Bellman AB acquired Symfon Hörapparater AB, a Gothenburg based company that had designed its own analogue hearing instrument. Through the acquisition, the business was doubled and the name was changed to Bellman & Symfon AB. The logic behind the acquisition was to use Symfon’s hearing instrument customer base for the introduction of Unitron’s new digital hearing instruments and to form a stronger platform for the export sales of Bellman products. The former owners of Symfon became part owners of Bellman & Symfon AB and remained so until late 2003.
In 1997, and through the acquisition of Symfon, Bellman & Symfon could also offer unique In-Ear hearing protectors to its customers.
In the 2000's
In early 2004, a new board of directors was established and the new Chairman, Mr. Lars Brodd (chairman 2004-2009), set up a target which was to double the size of Bellman & Symfon AB until end of 2008. Many new activities were introduced, both in terms of developing new solutions and in terms of export sales.
In 2007, the new personal listener, Maxi, was introduced Maxi is a break-through in technology and provides not only true digital sound processing, resulting in e.g. improved speech intelligibility, but also a very easy handling.
By 2008, the mission to double the size was accomplished; both the Bellman part and the Unitron hearing instrument part had expanded very successfully. After friendly negotiations, Unitron took over the representation in Sweden by themselves in early 2008.
Also in 2008, the founder, Mr. Peter Jungvid, moved to China to set up the first daughter companies to serve the Asia / Pacific markets. Today, and in Asia, there is one Bellman & Symfon company in Hong Kong, serving the Asia/Pacific markets and one company in Guangzhou China serving the Mainland China market.
In 2009, the new wireless system Domino was introduced. Domino was the first true digital listening system with both digital sound processing and digital radio communication and offered a unique sound quality also for remote listening.
In 2010, the Smart Alert system was introduced. Smart Alert is unique concept, in co-operation with Unitron Hearing Instruments, where Unitron’s customers through a message from the hearing instrument are alerted or warned upon incoming calls or warnings from the smoke detector.
In 2010, also Mino, a smaller sized sister model to Maxi was introduced. Mino offers many innovative and user friendly functions and features such as directional microphone and re-chargeable battery.
In 2010, Mr. Jan-Eric Bergström is engaged as new chairman (2010-). The Bellman & Symfon Way (including Star Formula and 4C is established as guideline for the different international teams in the group.
In 2011, the new digital Alarm clock was introduced, both as a stand-alone solution and as a system Alarm clock in the Bellman Visit system. In total five models were developed for the first world-wide introduction under the newly developed marketing campaign concept named Pulse®. In 2011, Bellman & Symfon also modernized its corporate visual identity in order to strengthen the Bellman & Symfon identity.
The Mobile phone sensor is launched in April as an accessory to the Visit System. More and more people are using mobile phones and tablets as their main communication tools. The Mobile phone sensor was developed to detect various events on smart devices, such as an incoming phone call, text message or Skype Message.
Three new in-ear products were launched in the spring; Bellman Chill, Bellman Drive and Bellman Swim.
Bellman & Symfon could also this year lionize the 25 years anniversary which was celebrated and highlighted in many ways, including an anniversary book. A special thanks to everyone who were part of the first 25 years and made this journey possible.
The business expanded to further enhance the development of solutions specially intended for use in home care. A new business unit, Bellman & Symfon Care Solutions formed to focus product development and sales to this market.