Wearables: Will the IntelligentHeadset make the people who bought Beats feel stupid?

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I’ve never been very fussy when it comes to headsets and headphones. After years of gigs ruining my hearing, I just don’t understand it when audiophiles get obsessed with the minutiae of sound tech – I can hear music in my ears so that means it’s working, right? Which is why I’m particularly surprised how impressed I am with the IntelligentHeadset.

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At yesterday’s Wearable Tech Conference in London, I got to have a very quick hands-on, to see what it is. Essentially, its a normal pair of headphones – but with a whole bunch of other sensors built into the band around the top: including GPS, gyroscope, accelerometers, and a compass.

What this means is that rather than just be on the receiving end of some noise, application developers can create a “3D” environment in which you can experience sound. In the demo application they were running, it positioned you in the middle of the room, with the instruments dotted around in a circle. As you move your head, its like moving your head in a real room – so that the drums always stay in the same place, for example. So turning away makes them quieter, and turning nearer makes them louder.

They’ve already built a number of iPhone apps that work with the technology – including an app that will tell you what you’re looking at, by detecting the exact position of your head, physical location. Similarly there’s a zombie game, in which sound must be used to locate the zombies before they get to you – and it’s gaming where I think the major applications for this tech could come from.

Imagine if they managed to hook this up with the Oculus Rift or the PS4’s Project Morpheus!

James O’Malley