Are smart headphones the next mobile breakthrough? That’s what LBTech seems to think, as the company created and launched one such product type on Kickstarter. Announced on Tuesday, the Elbee smart wireless in-ear headphones are available for preorder on the popular crowdfunding site, aiming to reach $250,000 in pledges by November 21st.
Priced at $149 on Kickstarter, or $120 off the future retail price, the Elbee headphones are only scheduled to ship next November, assuming the project is fully funded.
Each pair of Elbee headphones will provide a variety of smartphones will provide various features on top of playing sounds. The company behind the project says the Elbee can recognize your voice or movements, and integrates with apps for voice-based app control.
The Elbee headphones come with a dedicated app for iPhone or Android that lets users customize gestures (head tilting) and voice commands. There’s also a button that can be pressed for added controls. The headphones also come with always on listening features – just say “Ok Elbee” out loud followed by a voice command to obtained the desired effect.
Elbee headphones will supposedly work with music apps, Google Maps, email and messaging apps, and smart home apps and devices. As shown in the video below, Elbee can be used to turn the lights on and off, as long as the light system is also a smart one.
The full press release also follows below, with the Kickstarter campaign available at this link.
Introducing First Wireless Headphones to Control Smartphones with Head Movements and Voice Commands, The Elbee
NEWARK, Del., October 13, 2015 – Today LBTECH LLC introduced the Elbee, the first wireless headphones that control smartphones with subtle head movements and voice commands. A Kickstarter campaign is underway to raise funds for production and distribution of the in-ear headphones with smart features. The Elbee enables true screen-less interaction with smartphones and surrounding devices for hands-free control, taking everyday technology closer to a future of “zero user interface.” Beyond listening to music and phone calls, users can activate home automation systems, access navigation, receive notifications and send predefined SMS.
“We have become extremely reliant on smartphones for everything from playing music to controlling the temperature in homes, but accessing multiple apps using your fingertips is time consuming and often frustrating,” said Konrad Holubek, co-founder and CEO of LBTECH. “Headphones enable two-way communication with your smartphone and are an accessory that users are already comfortable with. By adding smart features, the Elbee is designed to be the most efficient way to interact with connected devices – getting us closer to ‘zero UI’ where natural gestures replace the necessity to stare at a screen.”
The Elbee is constantly in always-listening mode; a slight upward head movement or voice command (“Ok Elbee”) activates the headphones, giving users five seconds to perform an action before reverting to its default ready mode. Alternatively, users can manage control with buttons located on the Elbee. To preserve battery life, the Elbee automatically turns on when inserted in the ear and shuts off when removed. A portable charging case provides 3x charges (approximately 12 hours of power).
Users can customize the Elbee via an iOS or Android companion app as follows:
• Change or add the actions performed by head movements, voice commands and finger taps
• Personalize features according to preferences i.e. audio adjustments, user interface and optimization of battery usage
• Locate the Elbee on a map or emit sound if misplaced; alert user if the headphones are left behind
The Elbee’s design makes it multi-functional yet comfortable and easy to use. It integrates the best speaker technology currently available with a balanced armature driver, providing great sound reproduction with full range response. In order to provide crystal-clear sound in any circumstance, each earphone incorporates an advanced noise cancelation algorithm and two dedicated microphones. Furthermore, the Elbee can be integrated into any application with an SDK for myriad uses such as active video games, posture correction, and real-time language translation.
The Elbee Kickstarter fundraising goal is $250,000 and begins today with several pre-ordering options. First 800 supporters to pledge $149 will receive the Elbee with the first batch production in November 2016. The anticipated retail price is $269. For details visit the Elbee Kickstarter page: http://kck.st/1OtScl3.
About LBTECH LLC
LBTECH LLC is the developer of the Elbee, wireless in-ear headphones with smart features that enable users to enjoy high-quality sound and to access and control devices with voice commands and head movements. Headquartered in Belgium with an office in the U.S., the company was founded by Konrad Holubek and Vincent Canuel in 2013 and is backed by a team of engineers passionate about connected devices, wearables and domotics. LBTECH was selected among top 50 Belgian startups to invest in by Fund Me, Leansquare, MyMicroInvest and Trends-Tendances. For more information visit getelbee.com and connect on Facebook and Twitter.