Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Hy - hidden wireless earbuds you never have to take off project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound
£53,670 pledged of £68,000 goal
backers
By Third Skin
£53,670 pledged of £68,000 goal
backers

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.

SHARE WITH YOUR FRIENDS! Email friends | Facebook | Twitter | LinkedIn | Google+ | Pinterest 

 

 

 

 

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.

Piezo bending element demonstration, courtesy Johannes James
Piezo bending element demonstration, courtesy Johannes James

 

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...)

 

 


Connectivity

Bluetooth with PurePath binaural interconnect

Audio

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

Power

2×260mAh batteries for up to 12 hours music playback
Standard USB Micro-B charging

Control

Infrared gesture sensor
Always-on wakeup word and voice control
Smartphone application

Sensors

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 contact@thirdsk.in - we'll add questions and answers to the FAQ below.

Credits

So Far, So Close by Jahzzar from Free Music Archive
Closed Eye by Cor Tiemens from the Noun Project
Tree by Catalin Boroi from the Noun Project
Refresh by bezier master from the Noun Project

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

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £2 or more About $2.47

    Third Skin Pioneer

    This isn't your usual Kickstarter bottom-tier pledge level. You're invited 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.

    Plus, 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.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    82 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Reward no longer available

    Pledge £119 or more About $147

    Hy Super Early Bird (-40%, soonest)

    Get a pair of our revolutionary Hy wireless earphones for over 40% off full price, as soon as it rolls off the production line just over a year from now.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 173 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge £139 or more About $171

    Hy Early Bird (-25%, sooner)

    Get Hy for over 25% off full price! As the Super Early Birds finish shipping, we'll be packing up and sending your Hy straight to you.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 162 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge £189 or more About $233

    Hy

    You're the most important backers of all! You get a beautiful new pair of Hy, and our eternal gratitude - because by backing at this level, we can push our manufacturing up a step, invest in development, and start to make our mark on the world. Thank you!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    11 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Select this reward

    Pledge £225 or more About $278

    Get TWO pairs of Hy at OVER 40% OFF!

    FINAL WEEK SALE - We're offering TWO pairs of Hy at our original early bird price, to push us over the line. Thanks for all your support - let's do this!

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    20 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge £2,000 or more About $2,467

    Developer Early Access

    These are special. Get early access to the Hy SDK, plus a development unit, as soon as it's ready. We want to see what you can do with the features - plus you'll get the first chance to play, and shape the direction we go, with our other new toys too.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    £
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (40 days)