SPLIT: The World's Only Earbuds with no Strings Attached
SPLIT: The World's Only Earbuds with no Strings Attached
Finally listen to your music without cables or dongles around your neck
Finally listen to your music without cables or dongles around your neck Read more
About this project
Split is a standalone audio player that fits in your ears; it works without any cables and without Bluetooth. Split is a hands free player: You change track and volume with gentle "bite clicks".
HOW IT WORKS
Each Split earphone contains a small circuit board, a button cell battery, a memory chip, a processor and a few other components necessary to play quality digital audio. By synchronizing the right and left earphone with the use of high precision crystal clocks, the two earphones play in unison without being physically connected and without exchanging a continuous stream of radio waves. The two earphones only exchange a short near-field signal when track or volume are changed. This reduces the amount of radiation your head and body are exposed to by more than 1,000 times as compared to a Bluetooth streaming headset. To detect bite clicks Split is equipped with a 3-axis accelerometer.
THE PLAYER USER INTERFACE
WHAT IS SPLIT GOOD AT...
Split leaves your head and neck completely free. Try it with a scarf and an umbrella...
Split is ideal for exercise and outdoor fun...
Split has style....
Split is ultra compact and lightweight
Greenwing Audio is a start-up based in Miami Beach, founded by 3 friends who share a passion for music and gadgets; here they are:
Marco Scandurra: Marco holds a PhD in physics from the University of Leipzig, Germany. Before founding Greenwing Marco was a scientist with the Physics Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Marco is an amateur musician, composes music for keyboard and guitar. If you like physics check out a few of Marco's MIT publications.
Victor Chechelski: Victor is a mechanical engineer with over 30 years experience in bio-engineering and medical devices. Before joining Greenwing Audio Victor successfully co-founded a Silicon Valley venture for the development of medical devices aimed at vascular treatment.
Umberto Micheli: Umberto holds a Masters degree in Neurobiology from the University of Pisa. Umberto has interests in object oriented programming, hardware design, ergonomics and...Pink Floyd.
We have come a long way since our journey begun 2 years ago. We first built a table-top demonstrator, and after a lot of trial and errors we finally shrunk it to the miniature flexible circuit board shown below:
The flexible circuit is only 100 micron thick, it folds three times to fit inside the Split stainless steel case.
Some features of our current prototypes:
- Processor: ARM Cortex M3 32bit
- Memory: NOR Flash, capacity from 64MB to 256MB
- Max Audio Output Power per channel: 20mW
- Audio Amplifier SNR: 100dB
- Speaker Type: 6mm Neodymium Dynamic Driver
- Frequency response: 20Hz-20,000Hz
- Sensitivity (1kHz): 105dB/mW
- Speaker impedance 16 Ohm
Connecting Split to your computer: Split connects to the standard USB port of your computer. We currently have two separate cables one for uploading songs and one for recharging the batteries. The production USB cable will merge the two functionalities in one single compact cable with improved mechanical and aesthetic design; The cable will also have clear markings for the left and right earphone and a battery status LED.
How to pause/stop music playback: Change volume until you reach "mute". The player is now paused and in standby mode. To resume playback input any bite command. After 1 minute in standby mode the player locks and enters sleep mode. To resume playback from sleep mode simply tap the right earphone.
How to start music playback: There are two possible start modes: Quick Mode (default) and Control Mode. In Quick Mode Split starts music playback automatically when you separate the earphones. In Control Mode Split enters standby mode after powering up. You can toggle between Quick Mode and Control Mode using the Track Upload Manager software.
Customizing volume levels: The player default volume steps are three: Low, Medium and High (plus Mute); they are set at -12dB, -6dB and 0dB respectively. You can add more volume steps up to 6 and you can set them at any value from -54dB to +15dB using the Track Upload Manager software. In addition you can choose to amplify the default playback volume of individual songs.
Audio formats: Split will accept the most popular file formats such as .mp3, .aac and .wav. Since the left and right audio data need to be uploaded onto two different memory chips, the Track Upload Manager software (provided with Split) is required to upload your songs.
Operating System Compatibility: Split will be compatible with PCs (Windows XP or later) and Mac computers (OS X v10.4 "Tiger", or later).
Colors: Split will come in a default metallic red color as shown in the above videos and images. Additional colors: Pearl, Purple, Citrus and Black will be released to production depending on demand. Our kickstarter backers will be able to receive Split in these colors for a small additional fee.
For a $29 pledge you will receive a quality cotton Split T-Shirt coming in 3 different colors: Purple, Yellow and Green. Great for outdoor activities.
For a $39 pledge you will receive a special invitation to see and try the Split earphones in person at our Miami Beach Split Social Event. You will have the opportunity to meet people who share your interests in technology and music. The Split Social event will be held in the late spring of 2014 (travel expenses not included).
A pledge of $155 will be rewarded with one pair of Split earphones. The delivery will include: One pair of Split earphones with 256 MB storage capacity; 3 pairs of silicon sleeves (small, medium and large), a Split USB cable to connect Split to your computer, and the Split Track Upload Manager software.
A pledge of $169 will be rewarded with one pair of Split earphones (256 MB) in a color of your choice. Choose from citrus, purple, pearl or black.
Funds collected from our campaign will be used to complete the development of Split, which will be delivered to our backers and to market at a competitive price tag. We have 3 milestones ahead of us that we expect to complete between April and June 2014:
Milestone I. Finalize the Split hardware design (50% of project time and 30% of cost). Specific tasks include: TASK 1: Complete the USB cable design. Our current cable prototypes can either upload songs or recharge the battery, the production version will be able to do both at the same time. In addition we will optimize the USB to serial conversion to increase the upload speed. Finally the cable will receive an aesthetic upgrade. TASK 2: Finalize the near field radio link design, this includes optimizing performance, reducing power consumption and assuring regulatory compliance. TASK 3. Minor changes to the earphone external case, mostly to reduce manufacturing costs and to match the production USB cable design where necessary.
Milestone II. Complete software development (40% of time and 10% of cost) including: 1. Complete Split Track Upload Manager software for both Windows and Mac. 2. Minor Improvements to the embedded software for the ARM processor (this is already fully functional), mainly to extend battery life.
Milestone III. Manufacture Split in volume (10% of time and 60% of cost). This includes: 1. User acceptance testing. 2. Ordering electronic and mechanical components (3 to 6 weeks lead time). 3. PCB tooling and volume manufacturing. 4. Product assembly. 5. Packaging design and manufacturing. 6. Quality control. 7. Shipping. There are a total of 8 manufacturers and distributors building the supply chain that will bring Split to you. In order to keep the Split retail price below the $150 mark we need to place significant volume orders with all our partners. We are competing with big companies in the portable audio arena and we will need a large base support to launch Split as a robust, competitive, and affordable product.
Risks and challenges
Split is not a finished product and its path to market carries risks. Any flaws in the hardware or software design might have a significant impact ranging from a delay in shipping to a downgrade of the product performance and specifications. We cannot guarantee success, but we can promise 2 things:
1. That your donations will be spent in the most effective way for the achievement of the above milestones.
2. That our team will work hard and honestly and it will give its very best to fulfill your rewards.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
The earphones are remarkably stable once in place, due to the fact that the cable weight and cable tension are gone. If the silicon sleeve is of the proper size and the fit is good they should not fall easily. We have not tried the earphones on thousands of users, but so far our tests at the gym and running in the outdoors are a success.
Split cannot be used with existing mp3 players as a regular pair of earphones. Split is a standalone music player: An all-in-one solution that integrates player and earphones in a minuscule package.
The silicon tips that come with Split have an internal diameter of 6mm. You should be able to use any replacement tips that fit a 6mm speaker stem.
Currently it takes about 2.5 hours to reach 85% charge and another 2hours to reach 100%
We invested a lot of time and effort in this: The sound quality in our opinion is very good.
These earphones are not toys. The output signal to noise ratio is 100dB which is (theoretically) above CD quality (93dB). In simple terms if music and noise were on a linear scale, music would be 100,000 times louder than the background noise. The frequency response of the drivers is fairly flat in the 20Hz to 20kHz range which guarantees high fidelity, and the speakers pack a good punch in terms of loudness.
The Split is currently not waterproof.
Yes. Tap the right earphone to lock and unlock the player.
A 4 hour play time is our production target: We cannot promise more than that, although we will do our best to decrease power consumption through firmware.
The 256MB memory chip is the largest capacity currently available on the market with this tiny footprint and low power consumption.
The production version of Split will store up to 24 songs.
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