Listen closely: The secretive Seattle startup Human Inc. has offered a glimpse of what it has in store to disrupt audio technology by sharing features of what it is calling the Sound program.
In April, the company announced a $5 million round of funding but was slow to share exactly what was going on in the old Rainier Brewery south of downtown Seattle, except to say that there was a plan to “deliver a product that enhances and complements our everyday lives.”
On Monday, Human co-founder and CEO Ben Willis said in a news release that the company “is creating a new era of technology.”
“Our first program focuses on what we believe is the most emotive of the human senses,” Willis said. “The Sound program will fundamentally transform the way the world experiences both audio and interpersonal communication.”
Without sharing any dates or details on market availability, Human listed some of the core functions of the Sound program, while offering an image of a futuristic-looking ear piece.
- A “total-encapsulation” design securely attached to the ear and void of all cables, wires, and headbands.
- A truly wireless audio experience that includes instantaneous wireless connection and consistent sync between both ears.
- The ability for listeners to increase and decrease the volume of their external surroundings.
- The ability for multiple audio listeners to wirelessly connect to one device simultaneously.
- Portable loud speaker capabilities surpassing the volume and audio quality of most smartphones.
“The industry’s traditional players are lacking in design, imagination and long term vision, which are the key elements that ultimately translate into real innovation,” Willis said. “Human is building a product that starts with a naturally inspired design. Pairing that design with multiple market-bending features equates to a remarkable technology that will create an entirely new category of audio.”
The Human website shows a human ear, which it calls a “200,000+ year old audio device and our inspiration.”
The company is on Facebook and Instagram, where a series of initial images (below) was meant to convey the evolution of headphones. If Human has your attention with this tease, you’ll just have to stay tuned for further details.
“This is the first look,” said Joe Dieter, co-founder and CMO of the company founded in 2014. “We’ll be sharing additional technology features on a monthly basis throughout the reminder of 2016.”