DesignEdge has collaborated with Redux Labs to create the ambient aware X-Aura headphone which uses unique technology to transfer sound into the ear while leaving the ear canal unoccluded. X-Aura allows the wearer to remain aware of their environment while at the same time receiving auditory information. The challenge was to encapsulate the actuators in a compact and space efficient earpiece that is both comfortable to wear, easy to fit and visually pleasing. The final design features a flexible clip using soft materials that snugly fits around the top of the ear to leave the ear canal as free while the actuator is gently angled to maximise contact and audio input through the ear. The ergonomic design is comfortable to wear and discreet while the fluid organic form factor compliments the shape of the ear.”

This has huge applicability in the future of augmented reality as there are many situations where video information would be distracting (e.g. driving a car or walking in a busy area), but we can easily cope with audio input. Applications range from assisted living/well-being for the elderly, to productivity enhancement at work, to gaming and exploration. X-Aura was recently launched to considerable success at the International CES Exhibition, a global consumer electronics and consumer technology trade show that takes place in Las Vegas.

Gavin Smith | Senior Design Engineer | Redux Labs