These Smart Earplugs Block Noise, but Keep your Smartphone Alerts

With all the sensory input being transmitted to us through headphones, smartphones and interactive screens, the next great technological solution may revolve around figuring out how to turn all those signals off.

Now, a new wearable called Hush, created by three engineering students from the University of California, San Diego, is using smart-device technology to do just that — at least when it comes to hearing.

The smart earplugs, which use noise-masking to block outside sounds, work in concert with your smartphone via an associated app compatible with both iOS and Android; they help you achieve complete silence, without having to miss important updates and alarms on your mobile device.

Sound-eliminating foam, combined with noise-masking sounds (including white, pink, and brown noise, ocean waves, a waterfall and even raindrops) emitted by the in-ear plug (at up to 30 to 40 decibels) for up to 10 hours, results in what the creators claim is a noise reduction of up to 70 decibels. So whether you’re trying to sleep through a noisy cross-country airplane flight, or are merely looking for a break from your partner’s snoring, the smart earplugs aim to offer a simple remedy for achieving silence — without cutting you off from your customized digital alerts.

“If we had to classify ourselves, we would say that we are creating a wearable — not headphones,” Lee said when asked about comparisons to noise-canceling headphones. “Hush is a sleep wearable that directly attacks the heart of the problem of noise, perhaps the most significant deterrent to sleep.”

That still doesn’t completely eliminate the option of using noise-canceling headphones for the same purpose, but if you’re not among the legions of fans of over-the-ear headphones, smart earplugs could be the solution you’ve been looking for.

As proof of the market’s interest in Hush, the startup’s Kickstarter campaign, which has a goal of $100,000, already raised more than $300,000 at the time of this writing. Three weeks remain before the campaign ends.

Early backers will get the earplugs in May 2015 for $115, and the creators plan to bring it to retail for $149 some time in June.

Author: Adario Strange

Source: Mashable