From smartwatches to connected rings, people keep finding ways of integrating wearable computers into everyday accessories. The convenience of this hyper-connectivity is not lost on Sydney-based entrepreneur Will Miller, who has kicked off a crowdfunding campaign for a Bluetooth-enabled baseball cap that allows voice control of a paired device.
Snaptrax looks like your regular baseball cap, but features a Bluetooth module, microphone and speakers built into the corners of the cap just above the peak. Connecting with a smartphone or tablet over Bluetooth 3.0 allows the wearer to make and receive calls, respond to texts and emails and control music, with a button panel on the side to operate volume and pairing.
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This functionality alone won't set Snaptrax apart from other wearable tech, but what could prove a point of difference is the emphasis on hands (and cable) free interaction. It was clearly conceived with the busy professional in mind and may just provide a practical means of staying connected, almost like a more stylish Bluetooth headset rooted in the era of the smartphone. In saying that, the baseball cap design certainly won't be for everyone.
"We're very aware that everyone has different tastes and comes from different backgrounds, " Miller tells Gizmag. "Our stretch goals include connected bucket hats and visors, and we even have plans for a connected hardhat for tradesmen."
With development of Snaptrax still in its early stages, Miller and his team are working through the technical details regarding the battery and charging capabilities. The focus will be on striking a balance between function and the comfort of the headwear.
"Obviously we don't want the whole lining to be filled with batteries," he says. "It has to be comfortable. We are aiming for around a 90 minute charge time and a couple of days use at a time."
The team claims Snaptrax will be weatherproof and are offering four varying combinations of red and black. Kickstarter pledges begin at AU$189 (US$177) and if the team can reach its $158,000 goal, it will begin shipping the caps in January 2015.
You can hear from Miller in his pitch video below.