Hy - hidden wireless earbuds you never have to take off
Hy - hidden wireless earbuds you never have to take off
Forget your headphones. Wear Hy all day for voice-controlled music, calls, biometrics and more, with a huge battery and hidden fit.
Forget your headphones. Wear Hy all day for voice-controlled music, calls, biometrics and more, with a huge battery and hidden fit. Read more
About this project
For half a million years, we have communicated by simply talking, listening, and sharing emotion through music.
We wanted to create headphones that return this simplicity to the digital world. This is our solution to being forced to choose between natural hearing and digital audio.
Giving you music, calls and more with all-day wear, voice control, wire-free connection and care-free battery life - this is Hy.
Hy connects to your smartphone via Bluetooth, letting you place and receive calls, send and receive messages, use artificial assistants (like Siri and Cortana) and much more, just by using your voice.
We've included biometric sensors to monitor and respond to your everyday health and wellbeing, and directional sensors to place sounds and voice prompts into your environment - perfect for getting directions when walking or cycling.
Not just for technophiles or fitness freaks, Hy is designed with all-day wear in mind, to stay connected without the hassle of getting your smartphone out of your pocket or purse, and for music everywhere you go, without carrying headphones.
Hy features two sculpted bodies that nestle gently behind each ear, connected wirelessly to your smartphone. A small cable supports our unique hybrid audio driver, which sits just inside your ear and provides crystal clear audio by vibrating the air and the bones of your ear in harmony.
Our vibrating elements use advanced ceramic materials which bend when electricity is applied.
We use these vibrating elements to deliver rich bass by vibrating the ear canal directly, then add a pair of pro audio balanced armature drivers to give you crystal clear mids and trebles.
We're absolutely passionate about your ability to choose, so we want you to get involved right from the start.
All of our pledge levels invite you to be a Third Skin Pioneer - to be part of the Third Skin community, to help shape our vision for what future personal tech will look like. We're all about connecting ideas and people together, and we can do that better with your help, so we want your direct input, feedback and ideas as we create more amazing products.
With every Kickstarter Hy, we're offering FREE SENSORY UPGRADES FOR LIFE, meaning that if you get any of our hardware in the future, you'll never have to pay for apps, plugins or software upgrades for them, ever, to say thank you for supporting us.
For example we don't have Hy's colors picked out yet - that's up to you. As you move forward with us, we'll be running regular surveys, feedback sessions and more, to make sure we're covering all the bases on what you want, not what we think you want.
But hey, here's five colors for starters! (We like it in the green...)
Bluetooth with PurePath binaural interconnect
High quality balanced armature speakers for crystal clear mids and highs
Revolutionary piezo wishbone driver for bone conduction bass
High efficiency active noise cancellation
Voice and external microphones
2×260mAh batteries for up to 12 hours music playback
Standard USB Micro-B charging
Infrared gesture sensor
Always-on wakeup word and voice control
Heart rate and body temperature
Head motion, including activity tracking
(Specifications subject to change, but this is the minimum spec we have designed and are planning to include in the production model)
When we began to design Hy, we started from first principles, and a single question: how do you make a set of headphones that don't compromise your existing hearing in any way?
Starting by simply forming clay around our ears, then moving on to high resolution digital scans, we designed a form that allowed us to include a much larger battery than other products, and that fitted a wide range of ear shapes.
All of the main components and technologies included in Hy's bodies are tried and tested solutions, to ensure that we could provide excellent connectivity and features without reinventing the wheel, including Bluetooth and standard USB charging (no charging case or proprietary cables required!)
A special mention here for the PurePath technology we're using to connect the units - because PurePath is specially designed for audio, there's no compromise on audio quality, and leaves us extra options like binaural recording and music sharing between Hy users! Stay tuned for more...
The body was the easy part. We spent 18 months and dozens of design iterations to try and come up with our non-occluding earbuds (including crazy ideas involving microfluidic pumps, tiny brushless motors, catheter balloons and more!)
When we finally settled on our piezo wishbone design, we knew we had something special, and the final design was born.
To bring Hy to mass production, We've partnered with Product Development Technologies, who provide truly comprehensive product development services via a proven, process-driven approach.
PDT spans the globe with over 120 dedicated engineers, project managers, manufacturing experts and more, driven to deliver high quality, successful products.
At Third Skin, our mission is to make technology as unintrusive as possible, replacing crude evolutions of old designs with new thinking about what our devices can do, and how they can integrate more seamlessly into our lives. We think that we can do so much better than what's available, and we hope that Hy shows you the way we think.
We've got four more incredible products in active development that form part of this larger mission, and with your help, we hope we can can keep making amazing stuff for you.
Software developers - Hy is a small piece in a big puzzle!
If you ctrl-f "SDK"'d your way here, yes, we'll be releasing a development kit allowing you to create pluggable apps, services and games that take advantage of Hy's unique always-on personal audio, inertial and biometric capabilities.
We want to you to let us
- Race the sound of our own footsteps from when we set a personal best in the park
- Navigate to the nearest bar with positional audio cues
- Message a chosen contact if I come to a sudden halt, on my side, and my heart rate starts doing something weird
- Read my latest emails back to me, but only when my meeting's finished and I'm in a quiet environment
- ...and a bunch of things we haven't thought of yet.
We've always intended Hy to be the first in a series of devices joined around a single software platform, and we're looking forward to seeing what you come up with.
Want to be part of the process?
We're 100% committed to an open, community-driven approach to our design direction. We're going to open a lot of the process up to you guys, and want your recommendations on software features, colours, and other design decisions as we go to production and beyond.
We're here to answer any questions have - drop us a line at email@example.com - we'll add questions and answers to the FAQ below.
And a big shout out to everyone that's got us to this point. You know who you are :)
Risks and challenges
We have done everything in our power to make sure that we can get your Hy to you exactly when and how we've described it above. But there are always things that could slow us down.
Whilst we've made every effort to use well stocked, actively produced components, in the unlikely event that the components are discontinued or otherwise unavailable, we're going to have to make design changes that will delay launch, especially if it involves the Bluetooth, PurePath or noise cancellation systems, as these would require retesting and recertification.
Because of its fitting position and skin contact, we've made Hy out of internationally tested and approved biocompatible materials. We want to make it perfectly clear that Hy does not claim to be a hearing aid, or any other kind of medical device, but if there is any sudden regulatory intervention from a government medical agency, we will do anything feasible in order to resolve it as soon as possible.
We're confident that we'll start shipping Hy in Q1 2018. Our development and manufacturing partner, PDT, has a long track record of diverse, unusual and high-volume manufacturing and the resources and partnerships to scale to meet your demands.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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