Health and fitness monitoring is a popular function in many of today’s wristband wearables like the Fitbit or Jawbone UP, for example, but a new company called FreeWavz wants to bring those features and more to a different form factor: earphones. FreeWavz‘s bluetooth-connected earphones offer wireless connectivity to your streaming music, as well as a step counter, plus heart rate and O2 saturation monitoring, among other things.
And, if the product makes it beyond the pages of Kickstarter where it’s now raising the final funds for production, FreeWavz founder, Dr. Eric Hensen, envisions these headphones as more than just a fitness wearable, but a way to better interact with your smartphone via voice commands, too.
Today, the earphones let you pause your music to talk on the phone, just like any bluetooth-connected headset, while an accompanying mobile app will let you configure health-related alerts – like heart rate announcements – as well as display various health metrics, like distance, time, calories, duration, and O2 saturation. You can also adjust the way your music sounds with an included graphic equalizer.
Dr. Hensen, a health and fitness advocate himself, is also deeply familiar with the human ear, having specialized in Otolaryngology (the study of ear, nose and throat conditions). He understands how the intricacies of these earphones have to function in order for the sensors to work properly, as well as how the speakers have to be angled for the best sound.
Every aspect to the earphone’s design has a purpose, he explains to us, including their shape. These earphones don’t fall off, either, whether you’re doing upside down sit-ups, or even gymnastics.
In addition to offering the fitness monitoring and music, the water-and-sweat-resistant FreeWavz earphones also offer some features that runners and bikers will appreciate – they include a second set of microphones just above the earbud, which allow you to customize the mix of music and listen-through of your surroundings. What that means is that you’ll be able to hear your music as well as oncoming cars – noise that other earphones may block out.
Now that the FreeWavz prototypes have been built, and the designs are finalized, the company is ready to begin manufacturing, with the goal of raising $300,000 on Kickstarter to fund its first production run. Kickstarter backers will receive a pair of earphones for the $179 or $199 reward levels, though the earphones will eventually retail for closer to $299.
The company has raised around a third of the Kickstarter funding so far, with just over two weeks remaining on the campaign. For now, the earphones will come in a few colors: green, blue and pink – the latter in support of the Dr. Susan Love Research Foundation, Act with Love, for a Future Without Breast Cancer.