First look: Wireless smart headphones that also serve as fitness trackers
Whilst most of the main stage players in wearable tech have been concentrating their efforts on creating the ultimate smartwatch, German tech company BRAGI has quietly been concerting its efforts some way north of the wrist – the ears. The company has released details of what can only be described as 'smart-headphones'. They are called 'The Dash' and they are super cool.
The Dash headphones are worn in-ear and are handsfree and wireless. They work independently of any other device thanks to a 4GB inbuilt mp3 player, so you can go for a run and be confident that no phone calls will disturb you, nor will you be distracted to stop and investigate any incoming messages. However, with its bluetooth connectivity, you have the option of syncing it with any of your usual computers or devices. But we haven't even got to the really interesting stuff yet...
"The Dash works in sympathy with the wearer," says a BRAGI spokesperson. "Movements like pace, steps, cadence and distance are tracked. Heart rate, oxygen saturation and energy spent are measured, all the while real time acoustic feedback is provided. It even works without an attached smartphone."
Everything about the design has been focussed on delivering freedom of movement while also delivering incredible sound quality at the same time as realtime feedback on physical training to help athletes push themselves and track their progress. All of the controls are button free, using sensors to pick up swipe and tap cues for the operator.
The earphones also have a noise-cancelling function that can be set in stages, depending on the environment, it might be necessary to allow sound cues from your surroundings in, running near a busy road for example. "The ear bone microphone is not sensitive to background noise, since it picks up mechanical vibration generated by your voice from the ear bone. Even though The Dash provides impressive noise isolation, the wearer can choose to channel ambient sound into the headphone with the transparent audio feature. A swipe on the capacitive touch surface of The Dash will enable or disable ambient sound to pass through."