They’re being called smart headphones. I don’t know if Muzik Headphones actually fit the bill (yet, anyway), but they’re intriguing enough to at least warrant a mention.
On the surface, they aren’t that exciting – your standard pair of wireless headphones. The catch is the capacitive controls on the ear cup. There are controls for volume adjustment and track switching, but the main new feature of Muzik is that you can instantly tweet or post on Facebook about which song you’re listening to with one button press, with the help of the Muzik app, which will also have some kind of function involving learning and adapting to your tastes over time. Granted, I don’t think too many people will be falling out of their seats in excitement over that piece of news.
But, there’s something else about capacitive controls – they can be whatever a skilled programmer wants them to be. Muzik will be releasing an API for developers of other apps to use, so time will tell if anyone can cook up some interesting uses for Muzik down the road. That said, you probably buy headphones for right now, not down the road. Muzik might not be the most compelling product at the moment, but it’s certainly worth keeping an eye on to see what comes out of the ideas it’s introducing.
Another nifty addition is an accelerometer, which will automatically shut the headphones down when you take them off – a nice feature since, being wireless headphones, these will run on battery power and will need to be recharged every so often. They’ll last longer than whatever device you’re playing music from, though, so you shouldn’t need to worry too much about your headphones dying on you.
Keep an eye out for Muzik Headphones during Q4 of this year, when they’ll hit stores.