Hearing is believing

Doppler Labs

YOU heard it here first. When it comes to navigating information, headphones may be about to put screens in the shade. A handful of start-ups are creating devices which promise to transform not only how you hear the world, but also the way you interface with the gadgets in your life.

Here One, launched this week by New York firm Doppler Labs, is one example. Looking like a pair of outsized earplugs, it samples the audio environment and plays back an augmented version. Using a smartphone, users can tweak the levels of individual sounds – adjusting the bass and treble at a concert, for example – or silence intrusive noises such as traffic and wailing infants. It goes on sale later this year and will cost $299 in the US.

“Microsoft put a computer on every desk. Our goal is to put a computer in every ear“

Doppler Labs isn’t alone. The German company Bragi has the Dash, a wireless “smart earphone” that incorporates a music player, pedometer, pulse rate monitor, and much more. As if to underline the trend, Apple is rumoured to be ditching the headphone socket on a forthcoming iPhone, in a move that will make wireless headsets more appealing.

These products are competing for control of an emerging space in which we will interact with our devices using audio. “We believe that voice input and output is the future of computing,” says Doppler Labs’ CEO Noah Kraft. One day, he says, “we’ll look back at images of people with their heads down, thumbs punching a tiny screen, and say ‘how did we walk down the street that way?’ ”

continue https://www.newscientist.com/article/mg23130802-700-hear-here-headphones-will-now-help-you-navigate-the-world/