Found: Fuser Mixes Ambient Sounds with Your Music for Safer Headphone Use

 

The video may look a little like an infomercial, but the idea is interesting.  Riding safely with headphones is a problem lots of companies have been trying to solve.  Some by circumventing the noise cancelling aspect of headphones (see Aftershokz, for example) others by turning your helmet into a veritable modern day boombox (see Freewheelin, for example).  Fuser by Olens Technology, on the other hand, adds a microphone to your existing headphones that picks up the noise around you and plays it through your headphones along with your music, audiobook, podcast, etc. with volume control and a mute button.  No word on interference or what the mic sounds like with wind whipping across it, but the idea could have potential.

Comments

pornitswhatlwouldratherbmaking - 08/14/13 - 7:39am

There is never a safe way to use headphones and ride. i dont care what they say. Stupid people will just turn their player louder. come on use your head.

kinkicycle - 08/14/13 - 8:23am

In many parts of the world cycling with headphones is, quite rightly, against the law.

satisFACTORYrider - 08/14/13 - 8:39am

On a trail the biggest problem is just getting users to call out their presence. anything that adds to that lack of common sense and etiquette is pretty useless. Ambient noise? You mean right before the guy on his cell ends you can hear yourself crunch?

Ryan - 08/14/13 - 9:08am

There seems to be lots of hard lines drawn in this community with zero tolerance for those different from us. I use headphones. Nothing you say will change my stance; nothing you say impacts me. I love the outdoors. I love music. Why must people on here piss on everything that doesn’t suit their own specific personal desire? Don’t bother replying to me directly, I can’t here you—I have BOTH earbuds in and have the volume cranked.

Tim A - 08/14/13 - 9:41am

@porn…

Nice screen name. Anyhoo- turning up the headphones in this case would turn up the sound of the outside world as well. Come on read the post.

NASH - 08/14/13 - 9:56am

Sorry but I may have to break from tradition and say something half intelligent, this technology will not predict loud traffic noise such as somebody beeping their horn or a car screeching to a halt. It cant as predictive technology does not exist as of yet that can predict unlikely events. Noise cancelling software works with predictive noise such as airplane engine noise.
There will be a time lag between the mic detecting the sound and the software “blending” it with the players’ music. What the lag is would depend on a number of factors (direction, power, frequency) but I would rather ride with the music low or one bud removed than chance hearing something dangerous that has a time lag.

Brian - 08/14/13 - 9:57am

This looks like a good product. I have been riding and running with music for over 20 years and have never had an issue with not hearing traffic. Just leave the volume low enough and you are fine. That being said, this product would give more awareness to a lot of people that are just not as aware of their surroundings while wearing headphones.

Ajax - 08/14/13 - 10:52am

Waste of money. Just use your regular earbuds and turn down the music if you wanna hear the streets.

satisFACTORYrider - 08/14/13 - 11:32am

i’ve hit guys like ryan on my bike on the trail even after calling out several corners and a whistle. i don’t mind his choice of crankin it loud(i love loud! played pantera covers in a band!) as long as he doesn’t complain when he gets wrecked.

Ham-planet - 08/14/13 - 11:32am

Riding safely with earphones has been solved for some time now. The solution is this: don’t ride with sound-isolating earphones (active or passive) and keep the volume at a level such that you can hear what’s going on around you.

Andreas - 08/14/13 - 11:50am

I have made an android application that can do the same thing, but my approach to ride safer with headphones is mainly to lower the music when braking hard and by specifying geofences at crossings and other crucial places. The external sound thing feels more like a test of concept for me. https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.elektrocyklotronium.earception

Psi Squared - 08/14/13 - 11:50am

Yes, riding safely with earphones has been solved for a long time now: you don’t stick in them in yours and you don’t play music through them. Simple.

Sdc - 08/14/13 - 12:06pm

Onegoodearbud.com
Ftw

This thing is stupid

James S - 08/14/13 - 12:29pm

Where’s the mic? Think about it – your ears hear in stereo and give you an idea of the direction that potential dangers are coming from. If the mic is mono and placed in the wrong place you will have no idea where the sound is emanating from.

Padrote - 08/14/13 - 2:03pm

did I get in before the grouches denounced riding with music completely? no?

Bikehoarder6 - 08/14/13 - 5:15pm

Quote:
James S – 08/14/13 – 12:29pm

Good point.

Perhaps a set of headphones designed specifically with microphones on both sides of the earpieces would be the solution. That way you are getting the sounds from the outside world from “ear level” and not from a mic that’s clipped on to your waist or some other location.

Otherwise it’s a neat idea.

DerHoggz - 08/14/13 - 6:22pm

A good way to get outside world sounds from ear level in stereo would be to not have things in your ears. If riding a bike is so boring that you need music, get another hobby.

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