Batband is a headband that transmits sound through your skull bones. Think that sounds weird? And that the earless headphones look even weirder? Agreed, but...a few points:
- Bone conduction technology isn't new, not even to the world of personal listening devices. They've been using it for a while--at least since July 19, 2014 when I wrote about it--to support underwater MP3 players.
- Everyone was weirded out by Bluetooth headsets, and especially their talking-to-the-air wearers, when they first came out too. Now the devices are as commonplace as the smartphones they connect to. Some are even slick, fashionable accessories.
- Batband is a Studio Banana Things invention. Studio Banana Things also makes the Ostrich Pillow. "Weird" is kind of their thing.
In addition to getting their jollies out of designing a product that vibrates your bones with sound and looks like something we'd see on Star Trek, Studio Banana Things created Batband to enable people to listen to a "private soundscape" without blocking out the rest of the world. Seems counterintuitive, given that most people wear headphones to escape the rest of the world, but for cyclists, runners, even walking commuters who want to listen to music/audiobooks or take calls, keeping their ears free to hear horns, sirens, or people yelling that they dropped their granola bar could be pretty useful, and a good safety precaution.
To transmit sound, Batband incorporates three transducers, two that touch the temporal bones on the sides of your head, and one on the occipital bone at the back. Content you receive while wearing the device comes in clear but is virtually inaudible to others. The device itself is made of a spring steel outer frame for grip with an inner padded lining for comfort and sound insulation. Batband includes a microphone for taking calls and basic Play/Pause, Forward/Back controls on the side. It is USB-rechargeable.
The Batband earless headphones seek Kickstarter funding through October 27, 2015.