Posted On 7. August 2015 By In Consumer, Healthcare, Wearables

Wearing “The Dash” Headphones Makes You Feel Like Captain Kirk

The recipe for a successful start-up? If there is one it might be something like this: Take a challenging idea like creating super-small wireless ear buds and then think about what other features you could add. For our example let’s say the headphones should be able to track sports including time, distance steps, speed, rotation, performance, g-force and more. Further it would be great to get information about key vital body data like heart rate, oxygen saturation, body temperature and calories burned. In order to make the project completely crazy you want an integrated storage and music player, capacitive touch control, noise isolation and an ear bone microphone to use the futuristic wearable as bluetooth headset. The final product could look something like this: 

Stop adding cool features only if it already feels like what you want to design is a gadget from a Star Trek movie and would have been appreciated by Captain James T. Kirk.

Now ask people for their feedback. If they say “we love it – but it’s impossible…” the idea is perfect. Together with an inspired and competent team you start working on the project and as soon as you can predict which features will work and how it’s going to look like, its time for a crowdfunding campaign. From there on you’ll need a big chunk of luck.

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The Dash from Bragi (right: Sensors measuring vital body signs, left: touch control interface)

We are certainly very blessed that Bragi, a Munich based start-up did have a lot of luck during a Kickstarter campaign last year. Because now we are only a short time away before Bragi will ship “The Dash. As you might have already guessed the Dash headphones offer all the features we mentioned above.

Spock just beamed his headphones down to earth and made them available for you. Thanks!

A closer look at what might be the smallest and most advanced pair  of headphones ever made

The heart of the lightweight 13g Dash builds a 32-bit ARM processor computing incoming sensor data along with an analog to digital converter (ADC), used to translate analog information into digital information the ARM processor understands. The additional digital signal processor (DSP) is the machine room for anything that has to do with audio and ensures high-quality music playback. The headphones are further equipped with 4 GB of flash storage, dual mode Bluetooth 4.0 (compatible with A2DP profile, CSR aptX® audio codec) and a 100 mAh lithium polymer battery for 4 hours of music play time.

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Technology of the Dash

While the tech specs listed above would already make up for an incredible pair of headhones especially under consideration of the tiny size there are also several sensors packed into the Dash. A high resolution optical touch sensor for touch control, a RED + IR LED and optical sensor for heart rate and oxygen saturation and two thermometers to measure your body temperature.

As mentioned before don’t stop adding features even if it sounds ridiculous!

Bragi further integrated a dual 3axis accelerometer, a 3-axis magnetometer and a 3-axis gyroscope into the Dash for 9 axis of movement sensing.

For the headset functionality the start-up installed an ear bone microphone (digital MEMS microphones with custom mechanical tuning) picking up the vibrations of your ear bone as you speak. This solution delivers clear and crisp sound even if there is a lot of noise around you. A second, ambient microphone (digital MEMS omnidirectional, sensitivity -42 dB +3/-3 dB) is used for the transparent audio feature which enables you to be aware of surrounding sounds.

Last but not least Bragi provides a charging case a long with the ear buds which has its own battery so you can charge the Dash on-the-go in the case. Welcome to the USS Enterprise of headphones!

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Charging case of the headphones

Checkout the videos below for a message from the development team and an explanation on how to use the Dash. Want to get the Dash? Click here – you can pre-order the Dash now  for € 299 and they will be shipped to you around September.

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I am a passionate blogger and Technical Content Manager at EBV talking about technology, trends and hot topics. Let me know what you think via comments, Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn.

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