Look Ma, No Ears! Cynaps Lets You Hear the Future with its Bluetooth Bone-Conduction Technology

Cynaps has a new project, the result of its successful campaign back in February. That campaign raised more than double its goal of $20,000, and allowed the production of a very cool baseball hat that doubles as a Bluetooth headset and microphone. The new hat is designed to enhance hearing for those who might have some hearing impairment. 

What really sets the Cynaps Bluetooth hat apart is how the audio is delivered. Instead of traditional speakers, the hat uses bone conduction to transmit sound. This is proven technology, used by fighter pilots, and it works pretty well. 

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In fact, when I let some friends try it, they were blown away. A neat trick is that you can plug your ears and the audio actually gets louder! This is because the sound is traveling inside your head and not coming in through your ears. 

If you want to use your own hat, or even put Cynaps's technology in a bicycle helmet, the company offers kits to do just that.

The technology is very cool, but the device itself shows some need for industrial design. The heat-shrink-enclosed electronics are bulky and the buttons aren't intuitive. Still, if you're willing to put up with some idiosyncrasies, the functionality of the Cynaps hat is pretty slick.


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Todd Bernhard is a bestselling (6+ million downloads) award-winning (AARP, About.com, BestAppEver.com, Digital Hollywood, and Verizon) developer and founder of NoTie.NET, an app developer specializing in Talking Ringtone apps including AutoRingtone. And his profile photo is of the last known sighting of Mr. Bernhard wearing a tie, circa 2007!

An iPhone is almost always attached to his hip or in his pocket, but over the years, Mr. Bernhard has owned an Apple Newton, a Motorola Marco, an HP 95LX, a Compaq iPaq, a Palm Treo, and a Nokia e62. In addition to writing for iPhone Life, Mr. Bernhard has written for its sister publications, PocketPC Magazine and The HP Palmtop Paper.