Next-gen headset delivers audio to your ear without speakers.
The ‘Farina’ audio transducers deliver audio without obstructing the ear canal, and without causing long term hearing damage like that possible from earbud type headphones. The device can be mounted onto the frames of glasses, stimulating the outer ear, or pinna, with a broadband audio signal. The user then hears via a fusion of airborne sound and soft tissue conduction into the inner ear.
Because the device doesn’t block your ears it makes it perfect for augmented reality applications, or for runners and cyclists who need to easily be able to hear real world noises at the same time as the audio.
“Glasses that combine visual and audio input to the user are going to be a huge opportunity for us. The goal for our customers will be to create eyewear that incorporates miniaturised display and audio components, and are completely wireless. With Farina audio, the mini-transducers will be embedded into the arms of the glasses where they touch the ears, and the amplifier circuitry will be a single chip that, together with the Bluetooth or other wireless chip will disappear into the frame. Our low-power techniques minimize the battery size so that this to can become an integral part of the frame. I believe that technology will open the eyes of product planners, marketing executives and industrial designers to consumer electronics concepts that have never been possible to implement before.”
The device measures 25mm x 3mm x 0.6mm, and will be available to the industry in the last quarter of this year. Expect to see the first devices containing the technology on the market in early 2013.