Let's be honest, if we put the ability to carry audio from a device to our ears to one side, headphone cords are nothing but trouble. When they aren't balled up in a tangled mess, they're catching on objects and yanking the buds out of our ears. While various wireless earphones have emerged to tackle this problem, the team behind Earity is looking to take this convenience one step further with a pair of earbuds that respond to voice commands.
Earity's founder and CEO Maksym Vysochaskiy says the inspiration for the earphones came to him while driving his car. Conscious of the increased risk of traffic accidents resulting from people using mobile phones behind the wheel, he saw an opportunity to create a distraction-free solution to screening and answering calls.
The Earity buds connect with a mobile device over Bluetooth 4.0 within a range of 32 ft (10 m). When a call is incoming, the earbuds alert you to who that caller is, to which a simple "yes" or "no" will be detected by an ear bone microphone to determine whether or not you want to take the call. While not exactly expansive, this voice command functionality might appeal to people who are habitually reaching for their phone while on the road.
Beyond phone calls, the company claims the Earity buds provide "crystal clear" music listening, though this will need to be controlled by more traditional means (and by that we mean your thumbs). For those looking for hands-free control over this aspect as well, Motorola's recently announced Hint earbuds may well be worth a look.
The Earity buds come with a sleek tube for storage, which doubles as a charging device, with each charge of the 90 mAh polymer battery said to be good for 20 days of use. Vysochaskiy and his team are set to launch an Indiegogo campaign on October 14 to scale up production, where early pledges of US$79 will have a set sent your way in January 2015 if all goes to plan.
Vysochaskiy pitches the Earity buds in the video below.