The Hy hearable, from Third Skin, is on Kickstarter right now with only days left on their campaign. It may not be the sexiest hearable on the market, but you’ll never know it.
Most of the device tucks behind your ears like some low-profile hearing aids. If you have long hair or like to wear hats, you’ll never even see Hy. What you will notice, however, is that Hy pumps highs and lows into your ears without isolating you from the world.
Hy may be hearing aid fashion, but the technology buried in Hy will not only fill your ears with awesome sound, because of their design they’ll do so for days before needing a charge.
Oh yeah, and they’ll also track fitness data, because why not? In fact, there is much Hy can do, open to developers via Third Skin’s SDK.
Hearing Aid Fashion
For the record, I’m being unfair and perhaps a little silly. The design elements are not bad. I wouldn’t wear a hearing aid, not unless I needed to. I don’t need to wear the Hy hearable, but I would love to.
Like some hearing aids, Hy tucks its technology behind the ear. There’s a tiny armature that reaches over your ear into your canal. You can’t see the armature unless you’re looking for it.
The part behind your ear one may be able to see, but what pair of headphones on the market are invisible? Beyond all of that, Hy beats any design for staying put, but hanging over the ear.
These will not fall out when you run.
A majority of the heft with Hy is the battery, which is a necessary evil. To borrow a quote from the movie Boogie Nights, you want all that bass… er, power. A smaller battery would mean a shorter charge, a compromised experience.
Hy is, of course, Bluetooth enabled. The speakers combine drivers and bone conduction to produce unprecedented highs and lows. You also can control noise cancellation with Hy.
The vibrating elements employed by Hy are like nothing I’ve seen before. They bend when stimulated by electric signals.
There are two microphones, one to capture your voice, another to capture external sound. Like your Amazon Echo, Hy is always on. You speak to wake Hy from a hibernation.
It gets better. Hy measures your heart rate, body temperature, head motion and activity. As of this writing, the makers of Hy promise this much. They may cram more in before actual production if they can.
Third Skin intends to release a developer kit. They know that Hy can do so much more than they have time to develop. An open source platform allows others to hack away at HY’s technology to unlock tricks.
They even suggest a few they would like to see come to fruition, an app to track the sounds of footsteps for pacing your run. Another could audio-navigate users to the nearest bar on audio cues. Another yet could read emails to users while they drive.
As they promise, Hy is just the first piece in what they hope will be a larger puzzle.
For this writer, if they stay in my ears when I run, that would be awesome. If they also work to play my tunes when I perform the same run, even better. Everything else is icing on the cake.
Expect more in the hearables category in 2017. I think this is the hottest off-the-wrist location for wearables. In fact, it made my list of predictions for 2017.
For all who would invest in Hy’s Kickstarter campaign, they promise free sensory upgrades for life. You’ll never have to pay for updates, apps or plugins with any product from them in the future.