Wires have become an accepted annoyance when listening to music on the go. They get in the way, get tangled, and can pull your earbuds out of your ears unexpectedly. There are certainly “wireless” earbuds, but they still use some kind of connector, either a short wire or plastic hoop to join the earbuds.
Split, a new project on Kickstarter, gives you truly wireless earbuds, but it also goes one step further. The two buds that fit in each ear are entire music players. No other unit is required, so there’s nothing you need to drop in your pocket or strap to your arm. To accomplish a player that fits in your ear, several things such as charging and control had to be done a bit differently.
Each bud is a self-contained player, with its own memory (64MB to 256MB). Music is synched between the two when track or volume level is changed.
Split also incorporates a new way to control the player – your jaw is the interface. Since there are no buttons on Split, control of volume and track skipping is done though accelerometers that detect when you bite. One bite is a track skip, and a double bite changes the volume. And a tap on the earbud locks out bite commands so you can eat while wearing them without undesired skips or volume changes.
There is no external port on the earbuds, so charging is accomplished by magnetically attaching the two Split buds to a special USB charging cable. The magnets also hold the buds together when not being used. Separation causes the player to start.
The project has launched today, with a goal of raising $435,000. Pledges begin at $10, and to secure a set of Split earphones for yourself you’ll be looking at the $155 level.