Human Inc. today opened pre-orders and unveiled more details about its new headphones and accompanying platform that it describes as an “evolution of personal audio.”
The stealthy Seattle startup, which GeekWire first discovered after it raised a $700,000 seed round in December, on Tuesday launched a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo for “Sound.”
The wireless headphones are shaped like ears and “act as an extension of the human body,” as Human describes them.
There are no buttons — users control music and answer phone calls by swiping gestures on the headphones themselves. The device, which holds 12 hours of battery life and comes with an induction charging station, turns off when the earphones magnetically come together, and turn on when they come apart.
The headphones also let users share audio from the same device with up to 20 individuals; block out or let in more noise in one’s surrounding environment; and can turn into a loudspeaker by placing the earphones together.
“The future of audio is more than wireless headphones,” Human co-founder Joe Dieter said in a statement. “The industry has been playing it safe and only inching forward its consumer audio offerings.”
There is a one-day pre-order sale today for $170 per unit; the headphones will start at $200 during the crowdfunding campaign. They retail at $400 per unit.
Wireless headphones have been around for a while, but Human’s timing is notable, given that Apple’s newest iPhone will no longer feature a headphone jack and may convince more people to buy wireless headphones.
Perhaps even more intriguing is the company’s plan for additional features. It is offering a limited number of pre-sale customers the chance to beta test technology inside the device that provides instant language translation, advanced biometric monitoring, and sleep tracking.
Dieter founded the 40-person company last year with CEO Benjamin Willis. Bill Moore, previously CEO of companies like RootMetrics and Allrecipes, became Human’s president and executive chairman earlier this year.
Human raised a $5 million investment round this past April, pushing total funding to date is near $6 million. Investors include folks like Fred Warren, former managing director of Brentwood Associates; Darling Ventures Managing Director Daniel Darling; and Sugar Mountain Capital CEO Kurt Beecher Dammeier.
[Editor’s Note: Human is a GeekWire advertiser.]