Move over Apple AirPods, and make way for headphones featuring artificial intelligence (A.I.) technology. Californian company Vinci has developed headphones that aim to be the “central hub of your connected world”. The headphones currently feature on Kickstarter selling for $99 with a release date estimated at May 2017. The wireless headphones are voice controlled and powered by cloud technology, with no connection needed to a mobile phone.
The headphones allow for voice control for users to choose songs so that they don’t have to manually choose them. Whether you’re “walking, running, or commuting – you can tell Vinci exactly what song you want to listen to, say a specific genre or mood, or let Vinci pick a song for you,” said the company on its Kickstarter page.
In addition, the headphones are able to connect users with other information such as directions, local venue recommendations, reminders, and more. Simply saying “Hey Vinci” will trigger the A.I. assistant, or pressing down on the touch screen. You can swipe the screen to change songs, etc. The device can recognize a user’s voice.
Vinci headphones can connect with Spotify, Amazon Prime Music, or SoundCloud, according to the company. Since the headphones are a standalone device, there is no need to connect to a mobile phone, which is a unique feature. What’s more, the headphones feature dual-mic noise reduction technology which can “filter out ambient noise from the desired sound, which improves voice recognition in any noisy environment,” says the company.
The smart headphones are constantly learning from the user’s body vitals, which gives users the freedom to not have to choose songs themselves. The A.I. records listening habits and preferences to make “intelligent, real-time recommendations”.
The device can also learn from body activity, thus picking songs that match a user’s pace, heart rate and listening preferences. On top of this, the device includes an accelerometer, gyrometer, proximity sensor, optical heart rate sensor, GPS, and a compass.
So, how do these incredible headphones work? Through “deep learning techniques,” the Vinci headphones learn the “abstractive representations” of “thousands of soundtracks from massive music resources,” the company explains. These sounds are “extracted as signals, and then fed into neural networks after pre-processing.”
“Bi-directional Long-Short Term Memory (Bi-LSTM) models the sequential patterns of inputs, while more than one layer of fully-connected neural networks (often known as Multi-Layer Perceptron) enables abstractive learning,” says Vinci.
“User profiles are established by their behaviors (such as “like” or “dislike”) towards recommended songs. Such data are accumulated over time and modeled as temporal transition chains. With statistics learned, preferences are learned accordingly. In this way, Vinci becomes smarter when deciding what to or not to recommend next time, based on "deep learned" user-song matching.”
Ultimately, the Vinci device acts more like a computer than regular headphones. It features a powerful dual-core ARM Cortex-A7 processor with 16 to 32 GB of storage, as well as its own operating system, built on the Android platform. The device’s platform technology is built in the cloud and is “powered by natural language processing and artificial intelligence, so it gets smarter and smarter,” according to the company, enabling it to learn from speech patterns and preferences.