HiWave reveal sports headphone innovation concept

Audio transducers turn sports glasses into "multimedia headsets"

A new headphone innovation for cycling sunglasses has been revealed by UK-based HiWave.

Farina is a small transducer which fits to the arm of sunglasses, stimulating the outer ear and allowing the user to pick up sound without obstruction to the ear canal. HiWave’s patented "bending wave technology" vibrates the cartilage of the outer ear to “accurately reproduce audio from an MP3 player or phone.”

Aside from its use for cyclists or other fitness enthusiasts wearing sunglasses, HiWave believes Farina will be ideal for people looking to combine visual and audio input in their spectacles, such as what will be found in Google's much-anticipated Project Glass.

"With Farina audio, the mini-transducers will be embedded into the arms of the glasses where they touch the ears, and the amplifier circuitry will be a single chip that, together with the Bluetooth or other wireless chip will disappear into the frame," said HiWave CEO James Lewis. "Our low-power techniques minimize the battery size so that this to can become an integral part of the frame."

They are hoping to sell Farina to manufacturers for use with their own designs. It’s still at the concept stage but they hope to have production-ready transducers available by the end of 2012.

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