About this project
Electronics should be discrete enablers of delightful and magical experiences. Our aim is for you to achieve a better understanding of your skills, abilities and health while doing the things you love. We think that with your support in this campaign, The Dash could become a truly remarkable addition to our lives.
Music is a part of everyone's life. It brings joy, excitement and motivation. However it is not always a pleasure listening to music with headphones. Cables tangle, pull at the headphones and ultimately break. In addition, accessing online content from a smartphone is awesome but needing to carry a smartphone all the time can be a real pain.
The Dash consists of a pair of discrete and completely wireless stereo earphones.They will playback music through a Bluetooth connection or use the embedded 4GB/1000 song music player. Everything about the design is focused on delivering freedom of movement, incredible sound and comfort. The Dash is awesome for sports and great for everything else.
The Dash works in sympathy with the wearer. Movements like pace, steps, cadence and distance are tracked. Heart rate, oxygen saturation and energy spent are measured, all the while real time acoustic feedback is provided. It even works without an attached smartphone.
Safety and the ability to communicate with others are important. In addition to being earphones, the Dash will double as a Bluetooth Headset delivering clear voice quality through the embedded ear bone microphone. The ear bone microphone is not sensitive to background noise, since it picks up mechanical vibration generated by your voice from the ear bone.
Even though The Dash provides impressive noise isolation, the wearer can choose to channel ambient sound into the headphone with the transparent audio feature. A swipe on the capacitive touch surface of The Dash will enable or disable ambient sound to pass through.
Your pledge will help us deliver a friendly and discrete assistant that will enhance real life experiences. Buying devices that would equal the functions of The Dash will set you back at least 500$.
We've done three dimensional scans of hundreds of ears and tested different shapes. Finally three shapes developed that would provide comfort and fit for a broad range of ears. Silicone sleeves matching the three sizes (S/M/L) are delivered with The Dash package.
Why The Dash will fit perfectly:
- Three different sized silicone sleeves to fit your ear
- No cables pulling on the headphones
- Lightweight — a Dash ear phone weighs less than 13,8 grams
- Ergonomic design
- Three Point Secure Fit
- General: Volume, audio transparency, pair devices
- Music controls: Play, pause, next, back
- Only embedded playback: Shuffle, select playlist
- Communication controls: Answer, end, reject, hold
- Tracking controls: Start/stop, 3 upon demand feedback macros, forced feedback on minimum, maximum and time goals
- Sync music via USB 2.0 and sensor data via USB and Bluetooth
"The Dash is a discrete device that delivers clear sound without blocking out what is going on around us. The Dash's ability to tell us how long we have exercised for, how far we have travelled and how fast we are moving, whilst also delivering heart rate readings and oxygen saturation level, suddenly puts this device as one of the most innovative, yet necessary pieces of audio technology in modern times."
Helle Frederiksen, FEB 2014
USE THE DASH WITH YOUR APP
In developer mode The Dash provides access to processed or unprocessed data and audio feeds. Integrate The Dash with your application and entirely new opportunities emerge.
- Imagine The Dash protecting you. A sound or sensor trigger could alert emergency services, all the while transmitting your vital readings and position.
- Imagine The Dash being used by firefighters to monitor their health and improve communications.
- Imagine being able to identify infections or injuries in combination with 3rd party sensors by using sensor fusions.
- Imagine being able to talk with a foreigner by having the conversation translated on the fly.
See the developer pledge on the right, if you wish to integrate The Dash with your app. For the latest information on the SDK and how to develop for The Dash, please sign up for our Developer Newsletter here: www.bragi.com/developer
HOW IT WORKS
The Dash is still in development and we have learned from previous development projects that unforeseen challenges might change the specifications. These are our current preliminary specifications:
- Lightweight, shock resistant, waterproof and water resistant to 1m
- Smartphone sensors and GPS data provide additional functions if your phone is with you
- iOS / Android / Windows Phone App controls audio, sensor and tracking settings as well as a Lost Device Tracker
- Type: In-Ear Style, double barrier passive noise isolation (20-30 dB)
- Response bandwidth 20-20000 Hz
- Impedance 16 Ohm
- Output 10 mW RMS (with level limit)
- Total harmonic distortion <2% (1 KHz, 1 mW)
- Audio format: 16 bit stereo
- Custom Bragi Ear Bone MEMS microphone
- Ambient microphone: MEMS omnidirectional, Sensitivity -43 dB +3/-3 dB (1 KHz, 0 dB = 1 V/Pa)
- Dual Mode Bluetooth 4.0
- Audio compatibility with classic Bluetooth devices (A2DP profile, CSR aptX® audio codec)
- Full compatibility with Apple: iPhone® >= 4S, iPod® Touch 5th generation and later, iPad® 3rd generation and later
- Full compatibility with: Android: any device with Bluetooth LE hardware running under Android version 4.3 Jelly Bean (API Level 18) or later
- Full compatibility with: Windows Phone: any device with Bluetooth LE hardware support running under Windows Phone 8.1
- True Wireless Audio
- CSR aptX® audio codec
- Up to six paired devices (One at a time)
- Bluetooth sound overrules embedded playback
- Embedded music player: 4GB data storage. MP3, AAC (No DRM)
- Play & track time 3 hours
- Play time 4 hours
- Track time 7 hours
- Standby time 250 hours
- Charging time less than 1 hour
- Charging: Micro USB (power plug not included)
- Type: 100 mAh Lithium Polymer
Compatibility (needs Bluetooth LE for full functionality)
- iPhone® 4S, 5, 5C, 5S
- iPad® (3rd generation and later)
- Android phones with Bluetooth 4.0 LE support (See detailed description »Bluetooth« above)
- Limited support for Windows Phone and Blackberry (See detailed description »Bluetooth« above)
- FOR AUDIO SUPPORT: Any Bluetooth A2DP or aptX® compatible device
1 year limited warranty
Nikolaj Hviid created the concept for The Dash after having been CEO of a design agency and Head of Design at Harman.
A year later our international team consists of 20 people, with an average of 20,9 years of experience. The combined number of patents and awards far exceed 200. Together we have brought more than 400 products to market, gaining experience in the fields of expertise needed to bring The Dash to life. We love what we do, and we love The Dash.
The Dash has a great user experience, and it is easy to use. It is a beautifully designed product that will enable you to do amazing things.
If you feel you can contribute with something we did not consider or anything else of value, do contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are openminded!
Now we need you to get The Dash in the hands of users and developers everywhere. We need your support to overcome the initial costs for tooling and materials. Support the world's first smart in ear headphones; support The Dash. Thank you very much!
Risks and challenges
Due to the incredible small size of The Dash, we use miniature components. For some of these we only have a single supplier. Even though we have a close dialog with our suppliers, we are not in control of their actions. Every component is highly integrated into and optimized within the design, and an unforeseen component alteration can delay our launch.
The Dash has a complex Bluetooth setup that we have tested vigorously in our labs. We might encounter real life applications, where we cannot guarantee for the quality of operations. We will continue to improve our software throughout the launch to improve functionality.
The team has a very strong background in design for manufacturing. We have manufacturing flow, testing procedures and sourcing of parts well defined. Even if we encounter high demand, we will be able to scale production and logistics accordingly.
We believe that we will start shipping The Dash to our supporters in November 2014.
You will be able to pre-order The Dash in our webshop on our homepage www.bragi.com.
In the last days we had questions about patent protection.
BRAGI has several patents pending on the ergonomics, user interface and on a autonomous system placed in an ear sensing movement and body data. The process of getting a patent takes years.
Patents work like building blocks. Whatever you do is building on patents from others. But if you are the top block in the building, you have a very good case. We believe that our pending patents have very good opportunity to be this top block. The patents that are valid beneath you in the building are honored by payment of licenses. We need as an example to pay licenses for mp3 playback and movement algorithms.
We do not foresee that our delivery of product should be challenged by patent issues.
Let's use the example of the $199 pledge.
If you are an US resident, no shipping is added. $199
If you are an EU resident, no shipping is added. We do though have to add 19% VAT, since we will be shipping out of Germany. BUT you will have faster shipment and will not have to deal with customs. $199 + 19% VAT= $237
If you live outside of the US and EU, please add the shipping cost mentioned in the pledge.
You will be able to use The Dash for swimming.
These are the measures made to make The Dash waterproof:
1. The entire chassis of The Dash is filled with silicone. That is awesome for making the chassis itself water proof, shock improvement and to resolve thermal issues.
2. We have no connectors (just pins), no switches or the like in the chassis. That improves the MTBF (mean time between failure) rate of the product, and avoids having water residue.
3. We only have 2 openings in the chassis, one for the ambient microphone and one for the speaker. The ambient microphone opening is protected by a water-proof membrane that withstands 1.0 Bar instant water pressure. The speaker itself is water resistant, but has no additional membrane. It would reduce the sound quality. The speaker is not made for being submerged for hours, but in our tests, no water entered the sealed ear canal down to 1 m depth. If water enters the double acoustic chamber, a few taps on the device will remove the water.
4. Radio waves and water are not friends. The Bluetooth connection between the right and left Dash will have breakups under water. We do not expect people to be streaming from a phone while swimming, so we have cancelled that use case out. We can roughly identify the activity with the movement sensor, and increase the buffer of the Bluetooth stream, and thereby deal with a broken connection.
5. The touch interface is disabled while submerged. The tapping will work while wet, while the sliding depends on how wet the surface is.
You can start and skip music, but maybe not change activity (LHS) or select playlist (RHS) or change volume (RHS). We are working on speech control, but we do currently not achieve the quality we aspire to.
6. The Dash can be used for swimming on a daily basis. Some pools do have a high concentration of chlorine and other chemicals that could damage the plastic and silicone.
To achieve the complete comfort and secure fit, we used a 94% ergonomic model for our development. That means that 94% of all people will have a secure fit. Beyond that, we have no cable tugging at the headphone, and the center of mass is inside the ear. The Dash will always touch 3 points in the ear, if the right size sleeve is chosen, to prevent the headphone from slipping out of the ear.
The Dash measures body vitals non-invasively. Two tiny LEDs emit low intensity red and infrared light into the capillaries in the ear. The optical reflection of the emitted light reveal the relative amount of red and white blood cells more than 50 times every second. A precise heart rate and oxygen saturation level is calculated with the data.
The Dash will during exercises with a smart phone calibrate The Dash for accuracy. The Dash has a movement tracker (accelerometer sensor) in the left AND right Dash. We call it stereo movement tracking. That enables us to achieve higher accuracy in the readings than most trackers currently on the market. The Dash is able to track steps, pace, cadence, rotation, g-forces and other.
We have used what is called a 94% ergonomic model for our development. That means that 94% of all people will have a secure fit.
Beyond that, we have no cable tugging at the headphone, and the center of mass is inside the ear. The Dash will always touch 3 points in the ear, if the right size sleeve is chosen.
We think we have a great solution, and it worked with 48 out of 50 people that tried them in our ergonomic tests.
Every ear is different, we have tested long term ergonomics and have very positive feedback.
Well designed in earphones isolate well to reduce ambient (outside) sounds. That is great for sound reproduction, but bad for your situational awareness.
The Dash can pick up the ambient sound with the ambient microphones, channel the sound through to The Dash and mix it together with the music you already are hearing. The user can with a horizontal swipe on the right Dash control the audio transparency. Great for safety and situational awareness.
The sound quality is dependent on a range of things. Your content has to be of a sufficient quality.
If your phone supports aptX, you will be able to transmit CD-like quality audio stream to The Dash. The Dash has a Digital Signal Processor (DSP) that can enhance the sound. It is able to do so well, since the DSP has been programmed with the characteristics (i.e. frequency response) of the transducer used in the system.
We know the actual characteristics of the transducer, because we have measured it inside The Dash chassis. Such a audio system is called an active system. Any regular headphone with a cable is a passive system. The phone that does the playback usually has a inferior Digital to Analog Converter (DAC), and has no idea of the characteristics of the target headphone.
Because of the active system, we are able to provide better sound than a comparable passive system.
The Dash features a double acoustic chamber that significantly improves tonality of the mid frequencies and enables a powerful bass.
The powerful bass is further improved by significantly reduced air leakage from the ear canal through smart design.
The ear bone microphone will have slightly lower quality than a good microphone in front of the mouth in calm conditions.
The ear bone microphone has HUGE benefits.
Loud or windy surroundings have very little impact on speech quality.
And the ear bone microphone is by lengths superior in outdoor environments.
We are using very little processing power to clean up the voice, because we have a naturally noise reduced and echo free environment.
The ear bone microphone is one of the small gems in The Dash, made by a brilliant acoustic engineer.
We would not consider The Dash to be a substitute for a
With that said, the included feature "Transparent Audio", when activated by
user, does provide some amplification of ambient audio via an external mic
and some digital signal processing. But this feature is intended to be used
for safety, peace-of-mind and convenience, as opposed to providing a true
"medical" hearing-aid function.
The Dash should at least provide 3 hours of battery life when all sensors are in use and up to 4 hours when only playing music.
The Case embeds a battery pack too, that will enable The Dash to recharge up to 5 times on the go when placed in the cradle of The Case.
The Case is recharged with a regular USB cable from a USB charger or a computer.
Using the headphones while they are charging is not possible, as The Dash has to be in the cradle of The Case to recharge.
The current stretch goal will enable The Dash to increase battery life for certain use cases.
The Dash is expected to have a battery life expectancy of minimum 3 years with 1,6 charges a day.
The battery is developed and manufactured by a respected German company, and is one of the most expensive parts in The Dash due to the high capacity in a very small volume (energy density).
Due to the very compact size, the water proofing and electronics protection, it is not possible to replace the battery.
We are looking into the opportunity of having a fidelity program.
The Right Dash can be used without the Left Dash. The right Dash will work as a Bluetooth headset in standalone version. All movement tracking and body measurement is disabled in standalone mode.
The Left Dash cannot be used in standalone mode currently.
The Dash should be able to connect to any Bluetooth certified device. Some functions might not be useable.
Bluetooth Audio needs A2DP support as of Bluetooth 2.1. The Dash supports aptX® that helps to solve the problem of sending full music bandwidth over Bluetooth, enabling pure, CD-like quality wireless sound.
Bluetooth 4.0 (LE) is used to transfer data and control requests.
We have chosen not to add ANT+ capability for mostly technical reasons.
The range depends on the physical surroundings, but expect anything from 3-10m (9-30ft).
If you want to stay up to date with developer related news and information please sign up for the Developer Newsletter on our website:
No worries, we won't Spam you.
The Dash uses standard Bluetooth profiles for heart rate and temperature, but will feature custom profiles for movement and oxygen saturation.
We have a global replacement warranty of 12 months after invoice of the goods.
We used a 94% ergonomic ear model in our ergonomic development. That warrants that 94% of all people will have a secure fit, with either the small, medium or large silicone sleeve. In case The Dash does not fit into your ears or you are not satisfied with other aspects of the headphones, you will be able to return the product within 14 days after invoice date.
We will have a pre-order webshop online, when the Kickstarter campaign ends.
You will easily be able to preorder there.
We will provide a lower price for kickstarter backers.
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