Normally, earphones use earbuds to deliver sound straight to the inside of the ear, but the new Bluetooth set from Florida-based company FreeWavz utilizes a different method and has properties similar to a fitness band to boot.
Fitness trackers are pretty well known by this point – little wrist bands, arm bands and other wearable devices that can track how many calories you burn in a day, how much distance you cover in a job or what your oxygen saturation is.
Heart rates, activity duration and other fitness metrics can be measured in real time as well by these devices, with all the information sent to your phone and combed through by a Windows, Android or iOS app, depending on what type of smartphone you have. Or tablet, or whatever else you sync the fitness tracker to, not that you're likely to take along anything other than your phone when you go jogging.
The new earphones from FreeWavz have all these capabilities, although calling them earphones is a bit inaccurate considering that they don't, in fact, use earbuds.
Instead, they have an over-ear hook design and employ a conical sound delivery mechanism wrapped in memory foam, which adjusts to the shape of your ear. Or, rather, the inner sections of your ear lobes.
Bluetooth technology is used to make the wireless link to your Android or iOS phone. You can control, through the associated app, if alerts are to be given (according to time or activity), like issuing periodic updates or when the target metrics have been reached.
An Application Development Kit for third-party developers is being developed by FreeWavz, so the versatility of the headset may expand in the future.
As for the audio part of things, the company gave each earpiece an independent volume control, as well as a six-frequency equalizer, which will let runners and cyclists choose how much of the outside world's din they have to pay attention to.
Finally, the FreeWavz earphones are sweat-resistant and water-resistant. They also have batteries with a charge life of six to eight hours. Sales haven't started because the FreeWavz might not even end up on the market. There is a Kickstarter crowd-funding campaign though, where you can pledge $179 / €133 - €179 (which means that the retail price will be of $189 / €189 or so).
Shipments will start in December if the funding goal is attained, which might not actually happen, since FreeWavz is barely more than half-way to the intended $300,000 / €223,000 with just 5 days to go.