Take a look inside any electronics store and you will see a wide variety of headphones that have one thing in common. They work by emitting sound directly to your ears. But what if there was a less obtrusive way? Max Virtual is using bone conduction to bring sound to wearable technology. And while we’ve seen other consumer devices that deliver sound through bone conduction, specifically in the water, this is the first we’ve seen it built into clothing.
The company deployed this technology in its Cynaps bluetooth enabled, bone conduction headset and installed the device into a seemingly ordinary hat. The wiring and sensors are discreetly sewn around the sides while the controls sit under the bill. The technology works by transporting sound vibrations through users’ heads directly to the inner ear, thus reproducing the desired audio without the need for messy cables or traditional ear-pinching Bluetooth headsets. The product has gained early orders through an Indiegogo campaign that raised over $45,000 in pledges.
Do we expect hoards of people to be lining up for this product? Not exactly, although we definitely see its usefulness for people who need to be ears-free when listening to music or using their phone–bicyclists, drivers, or construction workers. However, we are very excited to see that Max Virtual is spearheading a movement where our own clothes are becoming interlaced with the latest technology. It is products like this one that makes us wonder if bone-conducting headwear will become as ubiquitous in the future as baseball caps at a ballgame today. Only time will tell. Until then check out the video below for more details on the Cynaps and follow the company on Twitter and Facebook.