3daudio_headset

Smart Glasses? How About Smart Headphones with 3D Audio and GPS Support?

April 18, 2014 - Written By Jeremiah Nelson

We’re all pretty familiar with Google Glass and other smartglasses that are on the market. We also have lots of options for other wearable devices like smartwatches and similar accessories. But what about a smart headset? The concept is not one that we’ve seen from a lot of companies yet, but it seems pretty obvious. A Danish company called GN wants to introduce us to their new smart headset, called the Intelligent Headset. It can run apps and knows which direction you’re facing. It also plays 3D sound and can give you directions audibly, eliminating the need for a screen in front of your face all of the time. Sounds pretty cool, huh? GN has been hard at work on their Intelligent Headset, and they’re almost ready to introduce it to the masses.

The Intelligent Headset looks like a normal pair of over ear wireless headphones. You’d never know that they are packed with extra features and sensors. Lars Johansen is one of the developers of the smart headset. “It took us under two years to develop the headphones, which are based on our sister company Jabra’s Bluetooth headphones, upgraded with a gyroscope, GPS and compass integrated into the top band,” Johansen said. “They connect via Bluetooth to a smartphone or tablet and allow us to use 3D positional audio to give the wearer real-time audio feedback on their actions or location – they’re like an audio version of Google Glass.”

GN is not limiting their design to just GPS and guidance support, though. There is potential for lots of other uses. Apps could be developed for gaming, music, and other audio functions. They could even be used for accessibility for those who are vision impaired. GN has opened the Intelligent Headset up to third-party developers, and their current team is also working on new uses for them.

Johansen has already created a game called Zombie X that uses 3D audio to create a 360-degree area filled with zombies that the wearer must track down and eliminate using just their ears. More conventional uses that GN is demoing include audio-guidance for museum tours, enhanced with sounds that tied in with the exhibit the user is viewing.

Pre-orders for the Intelligent Headset are open now. The device is $420 and should ship sometime in July of this year.