An Activity Tracker In Your Ear

Bragi Dash

On your next run or ride, leave your phone, watch, and fitness tracker at home–all you need is a pair of the Dash wireless earbuds. These Bluetooth wireless headphones not only offer crisp sound for your music, but also feature biometric and phone functions, becoming an activity tracker that can compete with smart bands like the Garmin VivoFit, Jawbone Up, or Polar Loop.

The tiny earbuds pack in a motion sensor, a thermometer, and an optical sensor. The Dash can record your running distance, walking pace, and frequency, as well as biometric body data like heart rate or oxygen saturation. The wireless headphones measure body vitals non-invasively via two tiny LEDs that emit low intensity red and infrared light into the capillaries in your ear. The optical reflection of the emitted light reveals the relative amount of red and white blood cells more than 50 times every second. A precise heart rate and oxygen saturation level is then calculated from the data.

Whether swimming, cycling, or running, the Bragi Dash can record your pace, steps, cadence, distance (with calibration), tracking in connection with a smartphone, rotations per minute, acceleration, ground contact duration, heart rate, oxygen saturation, body temperature, calories burnt, and even VO2 max. The wireless headphones deliver real time acoustic feedback on your performance during your workout.

In addition to all the activity tracking, the wireless earbuds of course deliver music, either via Bluetooth from your phone or from music stored on the 4GB of memory in the earbuds themselves. Using voice control and the integrated ear bone microphone, the Dash operate like a typical Bluetooth headset paired with your phone.

To operate, the Dash uses a touch sensitive surface much like a trackpad. It registers taps and horizontal/vertical slides, making it easy to use when running or cycling. The rechargeable Dash battery provides more than 3 hours of music playback with a charging time of less than 1 hour.

The accompanying Bragi app enables you to set your workout goals, manage your Minimum and Maximum Thresholds, and sync data with your headphones. But as the Dash wireless headphones are built on an open platform, the hope is that data can eventually be channeled to more popular apps such as Strava and MapMyRun.

You can preorder the Bragi Dash wireless earphones now for $299, with expected delivery in September 2015.

  1. The company had quite a good campaign on kickstarter, transparent and frequent information policy. They are now one year behind their original plan, but that is somewhat par for the course in an ambitious project such as this and, contrary to other crowd funding campaigns I have followed, Bragi has never been coy about problems that did arise. The product description is sometimes a bit too good to be believed, so I will still take it with a grain of salt, but even if they fully deliver on only half of their promises, it will be a very interesting product indeed.
    Given their information policy, displayed expertise and dedication, I am inclined to believe, it’s going to be way better than 50%, but I have to see it to believe it.

    1. Thanks for the info Yogi. Good to know they have been open about inevitable product delays along the way. And I agree–the full product spec looks way too good to be true but I hope they deliver. Can’t wait to be able to try them out someday.

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