The wearables market is full of watches and glasses that either do one thing perfectly, or a plethora of things imperfectly. Dash smart headphones change that.
The Dash Wireless Smart Headphones Kickstarter project went live February 9th and has already decimated its funding goal of $260,000 and stretch goal of $666,667. At the time of this writing, Dash has raised over $1,737,480 only 8 days into its 50 funding period, which puts it well on its way to being one of the most successful Kickstarter projects ever.
What’s so popular about The Dash? Well, it basically promises everything. The Dash is a pair of wireless Bluetooth earbuds that contain motion tracking technology and a heart rate monitor for fitness tracking, noise cancellation and transparency mode so you can hear when you want and not when you don’t.
Right off the bat, the The Dash has one of the key features of a successful wearable. It doesn’t get in the way when you wear it.
Although the wireless earbuds do sit in your ears, they can easily be switched into a “transparent” mode similar to what Bose and some other systems have done with their earbuds. The Kickstarter FAQ says the device will not function as a hearing aid, but I imagine that feature (along with several others) can be expected from future iterations of a product such as this.
Much of the audio pickup is done through the vibrations picked up through bone conduction technology in lieu of traditional microphones, which means wind and ambient noise will be a nearly non-factor when using the headset to make calls. The audio quality also benefits dramatically from the natural reverberations made possible by a snug fit using their 94% ergonomic model (meaning 6% may not have a perfect in-ear fit).
The Dash packs so much into such a small space that the biggest area of concern is battery life. The Kickstarter page promises a 3 hour battery life when running all functions. This may be long enough for a single workout, but it renders The Dash ineffective for use as a 24/7 fitness tracker as you can get from something like a Fitbit Flex or Jawbone Up.
Provided all developments go well (with the way their funding came through, I sure hope there’s no issues), early backers will begin getting their Dashes at the end of 2014, with the product opening to other customers Q1 2015.