Doppler Labs has announced that its ‘in-ear computer’ will be available to pre-order in 33 countries.
Doppler Labs describes its Here One as an ‘all-in-one, truly wireless listening system’. Unlike other wireless earbuds, such as the Apple AirPods or Jabra Elite Sport, these do much more than just produce audio. Speaking to Doppler Labs’ CEO and co-founder, Noah Kraft, he described the Here One as wanting to ‘put a computer in every ear.’
If that sounds a bit like the movie Her, you wouldn’t be far wrong. Kraft explained, ‘It has multiple functions. We believe audio will be the next frontier of computing. We think we’ll eventually get out of the screen.’
The Here One experience is being presented as ‘layered listening’. The idea is that you can augment reality through sound. There are three microphones in each earbud and lots of audio trickery is happening. Kraft described using the Here One at a museum or sports game to get commentary or narrative while still being able to hear the real world. Or you could use them on a plane to drown out the sound of the plane or a baby crying.
That probably just sounds like active noise cancellation, the sort of technology we’ve long seen in headphones from the likes of Bose. Noah told us that what the Here One does is more akin to selective noise cancellation. ‘It’s almost the opposite of ANC. ANC is a binary process used to mute the outside world. Adaptive filters instead track certain frequencies and selectively remove them.’
It’s not just about removing those frequencies, though. You can also enhance or amplify them – so you can amplify speech to give yourself super-hearing. You can also apply audio effects to real-world sound, such as reverb or echo. Why you might want to isn’t clear, though.
The Here One buds are designed to stay in your ears even when you’re not listening to music, creating those parallels with Her. In fact, actually being able to stream Bluetooth audio is a new function to the Here One. Doppler Labs’ first device was used purely to augment your environment and couldn’t receive audio from a Bluetooth-connected device. You can use the Here One’s microphones with digital voice assistants such as Siri and Google Now.
Battery life should be good for 3-4 hours of audio streaming with AR, or for 5 hours of AR alone. The included charging case should offer two additional charges.
If the idea of super-hearing or remixing your world appeals, Doppler Labs has announced that the Here One is now available to pre-order for a November release in 33 countries – it had previously only been available in the US. The Here One will set you back £249.99 or €299.99.
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