If you're listening to music from your smartphone via earbuds, there are currently two ways of pausing the playback: you can hit pause on the phone, or use the button controls on the earbud cable. New Zealand-based Vivnnovation Limited, however, has come up with a third alternative. Its SenCbuds automatically pause your music when they're removed from your ears, then resume it when you put them back in.
Each of the iOS/Android-compatible earbuds contains a sensor, which allows music playback to continue as long it detects that it's snugged into your ear. Once the buds are out, the music is paused.
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Using buttons on an included roll-up cable clip that doubles as a remote, you can also switch between songs or answer incoming calls – so yes, there is a built-in mic. Additionally, if you don't want people bugging you while you're listening to your tunes, you can use the remote to activate a red LED on a deluxe version of the buds. Of course, you'll first have to tell everyone what that LED means.
Sound quality-wise, the SenCbuds offer 9-mm drivers, sensitivity to 98DB, an impedance of 16Ω and a frequency range of 5kHz to 25kHz. They do have their own USB-rechargeable battery in the remote, which should reportedly be good for over two weeks of "regular use" per charge. Should the battery die, they'll still work as regular earbuds.
Vivnnovation is currently raising production funds for its SenCbuds, on Indiegogo. A pledge of US$45 will currently get you a set, when and if they're ready to go. The planned retail price is $70.
You can see them in use, in the following pitch video.