Knot anymore! Futuristic ‘Batband’ headphones play music through the skull
A London-based company has invented headphones which send sound waves through the bones of the skull into the inner ear without the need of earbuds.
Studio Banana claims the technology enables users to stay fully aware of their soundings, as their outer ear remains able to hear their environment clearly.
The company has launched a Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign to raise money for the development of the new headphones. As of Tuesday afternoon, Studio Banana had comfortably met its $150,000 goal, raising $176,750.
Batband uses bone conduction to send sound waves directly into the ‘private’ ear, leaving a user’s ‘social’ ear free to hear surrounding noises.
The band features three transducers, two of which emit sound waves from the sides of a user’s head and one from the back of a user’s head.
It is designed to be highly discreet, making it virtually inaudible to outsiders.
Studio Banana describes how the Batband will work on its Kickstarter page.
“Simply place BATBAND™ around the back of your head, pair it to a mobile device through Bluetooth, control its features using the touch sensors and you are set to listen to your favorite tunes, or discreetly make and take calls.”
“Its outer frame is made of spring steel ensuring a good grip around the back of your head and the inner padded lining guarantees maximum comfort and minimum sound leakage. BATBAND™ is easily rechargeable via USB port and requires no software or update, so all you need to worry about is having your favorite playlists to hand,” it adds.
Batband plays music wirelessly via Bluetooth, however it can also be used for video games, to receive mobile phone and Skype calls, and to receive vocal GPS indications.
Studio Banana claim the device will have a battery life of six hours of music playback and eight hours of conversation.
Bone conduction technology is relatively new to consumer products. It was incorporated into the Google Glass, but apart from this example its use has been limited to health and military technology.
Some hearing aids use bone conduction, while arms giant BAE Systems have developed a helmet which uses the technology to transmit audio communications in battlefield conditions.
“We recognize that on the battlefield, auditory situational awareness is essential for armed forces personnel,” BAE’s Principal Scientist Mohammed Akhmad said.
“With this system, the soldiers can safeguard their hearing with ear protectors whilst still clearly receiving military voice communications, to enable them to perform their roles efficiently and safely,” he added.