Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Intel to develop smart headphones for music listening, fitness monitoring

Iain Morris
August 21, 2014
Intel has teamed up with audio headphone maker SMS Audio to develop a new set of connected headphones that will allow customers to listen to music while monitoring their fitness.

The chipmaker says the headphones will be released later this year as part of the SMS Audio Sport Collection.

“The wearable technology collaboration between SMS Audio [Delray Beach, FL, USA] and Intel [Santa Clara, CA, USA] elevates our capability to bring smart exercise to consumers,” said Brian Nohe, president of SMS Audio. “With the introduction of the SMS Audio BioSport In-Ear Headphones powered by Intel, we’re now the first to provide this level of integrated, seamless and helpful biometric information to inspire customers to advance their fitness experiences.”

Intel and SMS Audio say the headphones will be aimed at bringing smart exercise capabilities to athletes of all levels when they go on sale.

The companies see an opportunity to “eliminate the inconvenience” of carrying separate devices for fitness monitoring and entertainment, recognizing that many people enjoy listening to music while they are working out.

“With SMS Audio, we will bring smart headphones to market that eliminate the inconvenience of add-on devices with an integrated, one-device fitness accessory offering high-end style and premier sound quality for an exceptional fitness experience,” said Michael Bell, corporate vice president and general manager of the New Devices Group at Intel. “This is a prime example of Intel driving innovation in wearable devices while being a forerunner in merging lifestyle and technology.”

The headphones are being designed to include biometric sensors that will be able to measure heart rate during exercise.

Intel says this will put an end to the “less convenient, less comfortable chest strap-style monitor” that is predominantly used today.

Besides being sweat and water resistant, the headphones will also track pace, distance, elevation and calorie burn.

Users will e able to sync the headphones with Runkeeper, a popular fitness app that allows users to plan fitness routes and track progress.
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