Connected Objects Music

BUHUEL Soundglasses use your bones to keep you aware of what’s around

At the height of the iPod’s popularity, a common news item was a warning about how unsafe it was to wander around the big wide world with headphones stuffed into your ears. A lot of it was fear mongering, but to a certain extent, the degree to which someone’s awareness is impaired while concentrating on their music is a very real thing.

Instead of hijacking ear canals, the Bluetooth-enabled BUHUEL SG05 Soundglasses use the sensitive bones in the ear to transmit music or voice so that the user can be free to hear what needs to be heard. As a result, the Soundglasses thrive in high noise situations which require earplugs or similar safeguards or in situations where hearing loss is a problem. In addition to the bone conduction technology, the Soundglasses also incorporate a bi-directional, noise-canceling microphone to facilitate clear phone calls.

Interchangeable lenses offer both aesthetic and actual versatility, offering different colors and the ability to use prescription lenses. A wide variety of mostly active types will find use in the Soundglasses, even if it boasts only three hours of talk/listening time.

The $165 glasses are a bit more practical than something like the Narwhal, and as such, its $80,000 goal has already been achieved—more than twice over. Backers can expect theirs in June of this year.

Music Wearables

Soundglass builds bone-conducting sound into a pair of shades

The next big thing in headphones is to offer extra functions, certain styles, or increased audio fidelity. These features are welcome to those who love to have sound and music with them wherever they go, but it doesn’t really change the fundamental technology.

The Buhel SOUNDglass SG05 is a step in a direction so far out of left field that it’s a complete shot in the arm to headphone technology. It’s a pair of sunglasses that only touches the ears to hold the glasses. Buhel SOUNDglass uses Bone Conduction Technology, a means of audio amplification that sends vibrations through parts of the skull to give users the same kind of sound quality they expect while keeping their ears free and available to hear the world around them. Atellani, the creators of the Buhel SOUNDglass SG05, are trying to raise $110,000 to fund tooling and production. Supporters can get a pair for $165, shipped out in February of next year.

This is a product so revolutionary that it’s easy to get excited over. However, few people have had the opportunity to hear audio through Bone Conduction Technology, and it may be hard to take the risk. This is a truly innovative product however, and could open a whole new product space for future headphone/glasses combinations.