While Apple’s reported development of heart rate-monitoring Earpods turned out to be a hoax, that doesn’t mean you have to wait for the Cupertino cult to turn fiction into fact if you want fitness feedback from your headphones. A project on Kickstarter, FreeWavz, hopes to make the idea a reality, offering heart rate and fitness biofeedback from wireless “smart earphones.”
Developed by Ear, Nose, and Throat doctor, Eric Hensen, FreeWavz are fitted with “medical-grade pulse oximeters and accelerometers” which track a variety of stats to help you stay healthy. Monitoring includes heart rate, calories burned, distance traveled, and even oxygen saturation, all of which is delivered to an app on your phone, and transmitted audibly. But that’s really just the start of the wide feature set FreeWavz hopes to deliver to its backers.
Unlike the wide majority of ‘wireless’ Bluetooth headsets on the market, the FreeWavz earpieces are completely wireless, pulling the audio independently to each earpiece so there’s no need for a tether to connect them. The earpieces also claim to offer a superior fit with a 4-point system that’s ergonomically designed and layered with a rubberized shell that’s sweat and water resistant.
They also offer dual sets of onboard microphones, one of which is dedicated to filter in ambient noise from your surroundings to keep you safe and environmentally aware. Users can adjust the sound mix on each earpiece independently from 100 percent environmental isolation, to 100 percent listen-through, to filter out music entirely. Additional features include onboard volume control, a multi-function button for receiving phone calls and controlling music playback, and a max eight hour battery runtime.
FreeWavz still has about $240,000 of its$300k Kickstarter goal to raise in the next 28 days. To raise awareness, the company has enlisted some minor fitness celebrities, including tennis pro Adrian Menendez, two-time Olympian runner Ryan Hall, and Pan American Gold Medalist runner, Sara Hall. Still, it will be a daunting task to crowdfund nearly a quarter million dollars in less than a month.
If you’d like to get onboard, there were still around 200 early adopter FreeWavz left available at the time of publication, priced at $179. From there, the next level is $199 with 5,000 pairs left available, stretching all the way up to the $10,000 level, which awards you with four sets of FreeWavz, lunch with the development team, and, for some reason, a trip to Disney World.
While we obviously have no idea what kind of audio performance the FreeWavz will offer, they do provide some seriously enticing features for the fitness inclined – the fully wireless connectivity and environmental awareness features alone might make it worth checking them out. Check out the video above for a closer look at FreeWavz, or visit the Kickstarter page for yourself.