Wearables

Buhel SoundGlasses let you take calls, hands- and earphone-free

Buhel SoundGlasses let you tak...
Buhel's SG05 SoundGlasses relay calls using bone conduction technology
Buhel's SG05 SoundGlasses relay calls using bone conduction technology
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Buhel's SG05 SoundGlasses relay calls using bone conduction technology
1/5
Buhel's SG05 SoundGlasses relay calls using bone conduction technology
The estimated retail price is somewhere over $270
2/5
The estimated retail price is somewhere over $270
Phone call audio (or music from the mobile device's library, or from a Bluetooth-enabled MP3 player) is played back through two transducers, one located in each arm of the glasses
3/5
Phone call audio (or music from the mobile device's library, or from a Bluetooth-enabled MP3 player) is played back through two transducers, one located in each arm of the glasses
SoundGlasses come with multiple interchangeable Category 3 UV-certified lenses, along with an adapter for allowing users to mount their own prescription lenses
4/5
SoundGlasses come with multiple interchangeable Category 3 UV-certified lenses, along with an adapter for allowing users to mount their own prescription lenses
Users hold up their end of the conversation using a bidirectional noise-canceling mic in the bridge of the sunglasses
5/5
Users hold up their end of the conversation using a bidirectional noise-canceling mic in the bridge of the sunglasses
View gallery - 5 images

There are already plenty of ways of taking hands-free phone calls, although most of those involve wearing some sort of earpiece. Not everyone enjoys having something continuously stuck in their ear, however, plus such devices lessen the user's ability to hear other sounds through that ear. Buhel's SG05 SoundGlasses take a different approach. They relay sound to the user via bone conduction, leaving their ears open to hear the world around them.

SoundGlasses communicate with the user's iOS, Android or Windows smartphone via Bluetooth 4.0. Phone call audio (or music from the mobile device's library, or from a Bluetooth-enabled MP3 player) is played back through two transducers, one located in each arm of the glasses. As with other bone conduction devices, the vibrations from those transducers travel through the bone in the sides of the user's skull to their inner ear, where they're heard as sound.

Not only does this leave the ear canal open to hear other sounds such as oncoming traffic, but it also allows for the use of hearing protection in overly-noisy environments.

Users hold up their end of the conversation using a bidirectional noise-canceling mic in the bridge of the sunglasses
Users hold up their end of the conversation using a bidirectional noise-canceling mic in the bridge of the sunglasses

Users hold up their end of the conversation using a bidirectional noise-canceling mic in the bridge of the sunglasses, plus a multi-function button can be utilized to place and end calls, or to activate Siri/Cortana. One 3-hour charge of the glasses' lithium-ion battery should be good for about three hours of talk time, or around 300 on standby.

SoundGlasses come with multiple interchangeable Category 3 UV-certified lenses, along with an adapter for allowing users to mount their own prescription lenses. Buhel's parent company Atellani is currently raising production funds for the glasses, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$160 will get you a set, assuming all goes according to plan. The estimated retail price is somewhere over $270.

Buhel, incidentally, already offers ski goggles with similar functionality.

More information on the SoundGlasses is available in the pitch video below.

Sources: Atellani, Kickstarter

SOUNDglasses SG05

View gallery - 5 images
3 comments
Bob Flint
Kind of limited to outdoors sunny days to people without the need for prescription lenses, although one could wear contacts.
A poor solution looking for a problem, but if photochromic instant darkening lenses along with projection heads up display, then way ahead of Google glass.
EvanSPlatt
Very poor glasses. I'd suggest looking at an alternative.
They may very well be bone conducting, but unless the 'pads' press against your head, which they don't for me, there is sound leakage.
Other problem: FORCED auto answer. When the glasses are on, they will auto answer. So don't plan to take off the glasses if you leave them on. Or be in an environment where you may not hear the glasses 'ring'. You cannot disable this 'feature'. Had I known about this, I would not have bought them.
PRIMARY WARNING to reconsider your purchase: The below is from Buhel's most recent campaign e-mail:
The 100% Delivery Promise at no cost for Backers. What we are offering is a Refund on your Reward if we fail to ship within 30 days of the promised date, in full. Period. No gimmicks. No small print. No exceptions.
So my glasses were 'shipped' (well, the label was created 30 days after the promised date). They didn't make any 'movement' with the carrier for 2 weeks after that. And I received black glasses. I ordered Sandstone. I also received 8 left prescription inserts. 8 left. 0 right. Meaning unless I only have a left eye, it's useless. Buhel said they'd ship the correct color glasses and inserts later this summer.
I told them they failed to live up to the promise. They are now saying no refunds
So this "100% Delivery promise" is a total lie.
This is not a company I'd suggest you do business with.
Scrawny
These glasses are not at all what they claim. The bluetooth works OK but there is no bone conduction technology. They have very poor quality speakers that everyone around you can hear. Unfortunately you, the wearer, can't hear much at all. They have zero customer support as well.
If you look on Kickstarter, on their page, you will see 99% of the backers feel the same way and most feel even worse. I hate to say this but this product is a scam!