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Intel teams with 50 Cent's audio firm to launch heart-rate monitoring headphones

Look to eliminate the need for a separate fitness band
Fri Aug 15 2014, 16:40
Intel's smart ear buds reference design

INTEL HAS TEAMED UP with US rapper and bad boy 50 Cent's audio company SMS Audio to create some "smart headphones" that measure heart rate so users can track their health while listening to music.

Named the SMS Audio Biosport, the in-ear headphones will extend the recently launched SMS Audio Sport Collection with a focus on high-quality audio while gathering data on fitness progress via fitted sensors that can measure your heart rate while on the move.

Intel and SMS Audio believe they are "merging lifestyle requirements with technology innovation to enhance the fitness experience" with their announcement of the headphones today, combining the wearable fitness tracker wristband and the earphones to eliminate the need for different accessories.

"Intel is focused on driving innovation in the wearable technology segment by partnering with lifestyle brands like SMS Audio that complement our technology and design expertise," said Intel VP and GM of the new devices group Michael Bell.

"With SMS Audio, we will bring smart headphones to market that eliminate the inconvenience of add-on devices with an integrated, one-device fitness accessory offering high-end style and premier sound quality for an exceptional fitness experience."

Intel said that the built-in optical sensor is continuously working to measure heart rate during intense exercise as well as relaxation, while removing noise signals caused by body motion and ambient light.

One particularly welcome feature of the headphones is that they don't need charging. The cable's 3.5mm audio jack powers the biometric monitoring capabilities so users don't have to worry about draining a battery.

The headphones are also IPX4 certified for protection against sweat and resistance to water so users don't need to worry about ruining them while running in the rain or sweating like a sprinter in a bunny suit.

Another notable feature for health buffs is that they sync with a Runkeeper app so users can track their heart rate, pace, distance, elevation and calorie burn to plan fitness routines and track progress.

The SMS Audio Biosport earphones will come with a tangle-free cord with an in-line microphone, neoprene carrying case, and three sizes of ear gels and hooks when they launch sometime in the fourth quarter.

A specific release date and pricing details are due to be announced later this year.

For more information on mobility, visit the Intel IT Center. µ


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