Part of the “Best Of The Missed At CES 2012″ Continuing Series
We get a tremendous amount of pleasure by bringing some of the overlooked, often smaller, innovations from the International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) to light.
The first of these from the 2012 CES is not only inspired, but also genuinely beneficial – AfterShokz Sports Headphones uses bone conduction technology to deliver sound through the listener’s cheekbones to the inner ear. More than just embracing the cool-factor, this hardware allows the listener to stay connected to both what they are listening to and the outside world.
Sampling the headphones is one of those wonderful moments that makes jaded technophiles smile – you are not expecting much, only to be “wow’ed”. The sound is remarkably clear despite the fact that nearly nothing can be heard once you remove the headphones. Then you realize another amazing concept: you can hold a conversation at a normal volume while music is playing, as if you in any room with speakers. This is real-life “jetpacks and flying cars” stuff: sound bypassing the eardrum to directly vibrate the bones in the head and the inner ear.
Our “eureka” moment came when we realized that the technology actually improves the listening experience for many people because AfterShokz Bone Conduction Headphones are so much more comfortable than earbuds. They are much healthier too, primarily because you’re not putting anything inside your ears with the potential to collect earwax (you can “share” AfterShokz with a friend). They are safer because you can stay connected to the outside world (distracted walking accidents caused by wearing headphones/earbuds are up significantly over the last 4 years). And, it’s pretty cool to be able to listen to your music and still have a conversation with someone (very convenient for anyone who likes to listen to music at work but still might want to respond to a request from his/her boss).
– Dennis Taussig, AfterShokz Chief Marketing Officer
There are three AfterShokz models currently available: the Sport, the Mobile (with an in-line microphone) and the Game (for use with multi-player online games). The sport model cost $60 while the Mobile and Game versions are $70 each; everything is available at www.aftershokz.com.
As CIO and Technology Editor, the author of this article has written it in association with Downtown Magazine.