Get this through your skull: Ditch the earbuds. That’s more or less the message from a startup called Buhel, which is aiming to radically change the way you take calls -- from inside your head.
Sound a little crazy? Let me explain.
The company has concocted a pair of Bluetooth 4.0 sunglasses -- aptly named SoundGlasses SGO5 -- that pump the sound of music and calls into your inner ear through your cranium. It’s kind of a head trip.
Buhel says the intra-cranial aural magic happens through the wonders of bone conduction technology. Small, soft speakers tucked into each lightweight, polymer arm of the sunglasses (the parts that hug the sides of your head) let users listen to calls, tunes, videos and more from connected iPhone, Android and Windows mobile devices through their skulls, hands-free and ear-free, too.
Without earbuds muffling surrounding sounds, SoundGlasses free users to hear noises around them. In other words, taking and making phone calls while driving, biking or running can be a lot easier and, more importantly, safer. For ski bunnies, Buhel also offers similar ski goggles. They’re called Speakgoggle G33 Intercoms and they allow you to talk through your nose bones.
You can’t make this stuff up.
To chat on calls, SoundGlasses wearers need only speak. A bi-directional noise-cancelling mic embedded in the nose bridge of the shades picks up and transmits their voices. To place and end calls, Buhel says users simply push a button on the glasses. The button also controls volume and activates interaction with Siri and Cortana, Apple’s and Microsoft’s respective voice assistants.
If you have an eye for fancy lenses, Buhel has you covered. Depending on how much you spend, you can choose from a variety of scratch-resistant lenses. Or you can even add your own prescription lenses. The shades’ lithium-ion battery juices approximately three hours of talk time and recharges via a USB cable/wall charger combo.
Some obvious questions: How clear will the audio be when vibrated through your inner ear? And, um, what about cloudy days? You don’t wear sunglasses in the dark.
Buhel’s parent company Atellani recently launched the high-tech specs on Kickstarter. The campaign is the company’s second stab on the crowdfunding platform and has already exceeded its $80,000 funding goal, with 36 days to go. A set of these bad boys will put you back a pledge of $160. Shipping is slated to start in May.
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