SGNL is an Indiegogo project that lets make a phone call using your fingertip. The trick is the watchband—a Body Conduction Unit (BCU) that uses vibrations via the finger to provide audio output to the ear. A microphone in the band provides audio input. Of course, you do need a smartphone with Bluetooth support, but you already knew that. At this with SGNL, one never has worry about finding and wearing a headset.
An “IR Rangefinder Microphone” is one way to describe VocalZoom’s technology. It is an audio input device that detects the vibrations from your voice via skin vibrations. The reflected output of an IR emitter is used to determine the vibrations, which are then turned into digitized audio information. The microphone effectively ignores any extraneous external sounds, isolating a person’s voice. It is designed for automotive applications where the sensor can be easily aimed at the driver’s face.
The Yevo 1 is a stylish set of Bluetooth wireless earbuds priced at $249. The storage case doubles as a charger with its own battery. The system uses passive noise isolation and it uses NXP’s Near-Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) to synchronize audio between the pair of earbuds. They charge in 90 minutes and run for more than three hours.
NXP’s wireless and Near-Field Magnetic Induction (NFMI) technology is being used in a wide range of wireless earbud devices like these. Skybuds runs up to four hours. Here One incorporates Smart Noise Cancellation, allowing a listener to select what is heard and what is removed. Nuheara’s IQbuds also provides selective, dynamic noise cancellation.
LG was showing off an interesting around-the-neck speaker system that also incorporated wireless earbuds instead of wired earbuds. The around-the-neck approach provides more space for batteries and a longer operational duration.
CrazyBaby’s Mars auto levitating speaker provides an interesting sound system. The wireless speaker floats when in use and then drops down to charge. It is also a speakerphone. The system delivers 360-deg. sound. Bluetooth 4.0 is used to connect the speaker to a tablet or smartphone. A matching iOS or Android app is used to control the speaker.
HiVi makes a lot of speakers, including this 360-deg. MS-2. It supports Wi-Fi, Bluetooth and wired inputs. The upper section is a pair of high performance, 4th-order vented speakers, and the lower section is a subwoofer. Remote control operation is via iOS and Android applications. Total output power is 140 W RMS.
Microchip’s demo was highlighting a combination of MOST and Ethernet AVB. MOST nodes are inexpensive, especially when compared to Ethernet. This approach allows multiple MOST nodes to deliver audio while Ethernet AVB provides connectivity. Of course, these dev kits and Ethernet switch are a bit larger than an actual implementation.
The BodyFriend is a high-end shiatsu massage chair that includes its own sound system. Aircells cushion the entire body with strategically placed thermal subsystems. The 5.1 sound system and chari information is linked via Bluetooth to your favorite mobile device. Biometric sensors can measure stress and even identify who is in the chair. It has 25 modes that address everything from stress to sleep. Of course, it will set you back about $7,000—and that isn’t even the most expensive model.
Check out some of the new audio technology from the 2017 Consumer Electronics Show.
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