Sony have been busy lately. Having announced their new Future Lab prototype development program earlier this month, they held their first demo session at SXSW yesterday and unveiled some really cool headphones that we need to try. Now.
The Sony Concept N is a band that sits around your neck and directs the sound upwards to your ears, creating your own personal bubble of sound around your head without closing out the world around you… Or disrupting anyone else any more than current headphones might anyway.
Hands free, ears free, eyes free: the wearable device utilises GPS, motion sensor, bluetooth and voice activation technology that, when you say ‘listen up Arc’, will control functions ranging from weather updates to messages to phonecalls to nearby services and an integrated camera.
Reports by people who’ve tried out the demo in The Verge suggest that the audio quality isn’t incredible… But if you’re interested in a listening experience that doesn’t shut out the world, you’d kind of expect that anyway. There’s also talk of additional earbuds that will improve the sound but are also designed to allow the rest of the world in.
So far the Sony Concept N is at prototype stage but may see the market by the end of the year. Here’s a demo from PC Mag at SXSW and Sony’s own info-sparse promotional video.
And if you’re more interested in shutting the world out than letting it in, there are always the Nervana headphones that promise a mild high!