Concept N: Introducing Sony’s Futuristic ‘Ears Free’ Headset
This week has been great for the tech world! A lot of products and services are once again introduced to the public. Some are interesting and unique enough to be noticed; one of which is Sony’s Concept N. The revolutionary headset has no ear buds and pads used inside or over the wearer’s ears.Advertisement
This futuristic-looking device is the latest from the electronics company’s Future Labs, which seems to be making up for lost time to surprise the public with innovations that have been coming out on carefully chosen dates. Future Labs is the Japanese tech firm’s newly formed R&D project.
The latest headset from Sony was debuted at the South By Southwest or SXSW this week. The new listening device from Sony has an arc-like design worn around the user’s neck like a necklace and projects sounds in and around one’s head using directional speakers. It was designed to allow the user to listen to music and at the same time hear everything that is going on around them.
Sony argues that the device allows the wearer to commute and hear environmental noise like car horns, which make them stay safer, reports Digital Trends. It could also prove to be practical especially for those who move around a lot when they listen to their favorites as there are no bulky ear phones or cables that can tangle. Also the futuristic device is designed to be heard mostly only by the wearer.
Though the headphones project the sound outward, it is enough that most individuals around the user can’t exactly tell what they are listening to. Additionally, Engadget reports that the headset, currently having the codename Concept N, has four built-in microphones with noise cancelling features. This is to ensure that the wearer can always talk to it using the trigger phrase “Listen up Arc.”
The headset starts listening to the user once the phrase is said and will use the user’s phone GPS to give the wearer location-based information. As of now the “ear-less” headphone can tell users the weather, the local news and restaurant information plus can even take a picture of the wearer using its tiny embedded 8MP camera.
According to the report the device’s camera is hidden by default and only opens up if the wearer tells the device to take a photo, a technique/feature, which the Japanese electronics firm seems to have learned from Google Glass. Meanwhile, if a wearer misses listening to music using the standard headset or earphones, Sony offers a connectable set of in-ear buds or what is called “open-ear earphones.”
This accessory can link to Sony’s Concept N; however, it is designed so that a set of cone-shaped rings fit in the ear and communicate the audio while still the noise to filter through at the same time as audio is playing, reports Android Headlines. The Bluetooth headset is currently a prototype at work.
Based on a report on The Verge, it is functioning well, with a few things that need to be fixed and/or improved. With his experience, the reporter said that the audio was “surprisingly clear” when pumped through the headset/arc speakers. He also observed that the directional sound was “just low enough to blend in with the background sounds when someone else wore the device. “
The problem, though, lies in the voice control feature of the futuristic-looking headset, as he said it “failed to function properly in the moderately noisy Future Lab tent and the Sony representative was forced to issue the command four or five times to take a photo.”
The same report says that the Concept N device of Sony is already a finely designed piece of technology. It looks, feels, and works like a finished product and can be mistaken as one, except that the Japanese electronics firm has emphasized it being a prototype. So far the electronics firm is tight lipped whether the ear-less headset will turn out as a consumer product or not.
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