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Music Businesses

Ambitious Augmented Reality Startup Doppler Labs Shuts Down ( 24

Wired reports that Doppler Labs, the company behind Here One smart earbuds, has announced that it's shutting down all operations today. The Verge reports: Founded in 2013, Doppler Labs debuted the prototype of its Here Active Listening System two years later in 2015. The battery-powered earbuds, according to Doppler Labs founder and CEO Noah Kraft, were built to enhance sound in the world around you. By using the accompanying app, users could, in theory, apply any manner of EQ settings that did everything from reduce overwhelming bass frequencies at a concert to dim the midrange chatter of co-workers while in an office. Kraft's vision for Doppler's future was an compelling idea -- "we want to put a computer, speaker, and mic in everyone's ear" -- but the Here Active Listening System was met with mixed reviews. In 2016, the company announced a new version of the earbuds, now called Here One. Dubbed "augmented reality earbuds," these earbuds allowed for streaming audio via Bluetooth, combined with the sound-enhancement tools seen in the Here Active Listening System. It seemed to offer the best of both worlds: a way to not only blend music or content playing in-ear with ambient noise, but the ability to adjust that ambient noise as well. Unfortunately, in bringing Here One to market the company was met with a raft of problems. According to Wired, a manufacturer change pushed production delivery from the fall 2016 to February 2017. There was also bad news on the battery front. The company hoped to offer 4.5 hours of battery life using augmented hearing and three hours of music streaming, but the unit's Bluetooth chip wound up diminishing those expectations.
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Ambitious Augmented Reality Startup Doppler Labs Shuts Down

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  • ~nt~

    PS frist post.

    • by BeauHD (Home UID) ( 5140143 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2017 @08:36PM (#55473295)
      It is said of LSD "You might see things that aren't there, but you won't NOT see things that are there."

      The three terms have discrete meanings and are not buzzwords. 3D simply implies any technology that tricks the eyes into seeing a two dimensional surface as having depth. Virtual reality means replacing the real environment with a virtual one; A headset that blocks out the real world. Augmented reality is essentially an overlay.

      These earbuds are well within the realm of augmented reality. And the overall ideas were all sound. It's a product that can in principle enhance conversations for the hard of hearing, protect ears from loud noises without reducing the quality of the sound (useful for anyone who still goes to the movies), add ambient sound to a boring room while still being able to hear people, or even listen to informative tracks at a museum. But...they were, what, three hundred bucks, fugly looking, and even their hyped battery life was a dang joke.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    can we admit that BT tech is perhaps not the best. it can never compare to wired devices and the only reason it exists is because people don't like wires... for some reason. but when it comes to ease of use, comparability, connectivity, battery, quality of connection.... wired just wins.

    sent to you by my BT keyboard...

  • We all know that sensation of hearing the fast approaching excitement and activity, the rumble of the earth, the ear-splitting crescendo, and the immediate drop in frequency, the whirlwinds of smoke and grit in the air, the slow end of the experience, the energy dissipating into nothingness. Oh ya, and occasionally some dead cattle. They might as well have named their company Entropy Journey Inc.

  • Probably should have added a Pokemon in there somewhere.
  • I have my own headphones that I carefully picked myself and I can't stand earbuds.

  • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Wednesday November 01, 2017 @11:47PM (#55474109) Journal
    As someone who was there from the beginning. Cut profitable product lines, chased tangents instead of core focus products, forced schedules and features by people who had never done hardware before, dismantled a functioning engineering team from an affordable SoCal location to some place 10X the cost in SF, and tried to work with CMs sized for 10 times the actual needs. Easy to burn through $60MM doing that...
  • Title says it all. This is what happens when you FUCK OVER your original kickstarter backers. Article reads like a bitter spoiled startup bitch who didnt even give enough shits about employees to sell when given the option and knowing they had a cliff ahead.

    POS management is DONE professionally. They blame the larger companies for making them irrelevant, yea that happens quick when you deliver shit quality and don't build a brand people feel good about owning.

    • Yep, even a "bad deal" is better than no deal. Could have put a few dollars in the employee's pockets but in an attempt to hold out for a better deal, they lost it all. Bird in the hand...

The rich get rich, and the poor get poorer. The haves get more, the have-nots die.