Is This the End of Earphones?

 In Food for Thought

Technology has come a long way. No one can argue that. But we still attach the notion of technology to a device of some sort. Could this be changing? Tech startup company, Noveto is pioneering the shift towards device-less technology with innovative ideas that could see the end of earphones as we have always known them.

Earphones have changed rapidly over the years, from big bulky ear muffs, to small sleek buds, to no cord attached. Noveto aims to take this even further. The company has been developing technology that eliminates the need for a pair of headphones all together.

How does this work? Noveto calls their technology Sowlo: a new species of sound. The device directs incredibly focused beams of sound privately to listener’s ears. The emitting technology detects and tracks the movement and position of user’s ears so these sound waves can be redirected around a space. Those who use Sowlo can sit in an office and have sound sent to their ears completely unheard by anyone else, or can run on a treadmill completely earphone free but still blast their music.

According to Noveto, there are a mere 3 simple steps behind the process of this radical invention:

  1. Intelligent 3D sensors constantly locate and track user’s position
  2. Incoming audio signal from a device runs through Sowlo’s proprietary processing and DSP engines
  3. Small transducers (speakers) focus acoustical energy to the user’s ears with no moving parts

Seems simple enough. But are we ready for this kind of transformation?

This begins to transcend into the realm of constant monitoring and tracking. The ease and convenience of not having to locate and untangle earphones and rather have the sound waves sent directly to your eardrums fulfils the wildest dreams of tech-heads. But to many others this is in a whole new league of losing human control.

But, just like we didn’t imagine earphones not having a wire, could we just as easily live in a world without the device entirely? Because it looks like it’s coming.

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