Inspero, the maker of the Vinci 1.5 is coming back to Kickstarter with new AI-powered headphones, this time in a thin and light form-factor.
Last year, the company over to $1.2 million on crowdfunding sites for its first model of over the ear smart headphones, equipped with an LCDtouchscreenn.
The new device, dubbed Vinci 2.0, is packed with sensors, connectivity options, and intelligence, and features a smaller touch display and earphones. Powered by a MediaTek Quad-core Cortex A7 processor with 1 GB of RAM (up to 2 GB) and a custom version of Android, it connects directly to WiFi and 3G networks, offers up to
32 Gb internal storage and measures your heart rate, so no need to take your phone to go for a run.
Industrial Design (great)
Last week I met Inspero co-founder Max Wu, who showed me a prototype of the Vinci 2.0 and I was impressed by the extensive list of features in such a compact and practical design that weighs less than 90 grams! Standalone earphones with large storage capacities and biometric sensors are the norm today, since people want to run while listening to music. However, wireless earphones tend to be lost during a workout and it is not practical to take them out if needed, additionally, when you take them out, they stop monitoring the heart rate.
Inspero solved this by placing the heart rate sensor inside the neck piece, the part that rests on the back of your neck. According to Max Wu, it is a place where it is quite easy for an optical heart rate sensor to accurately measure the pulse. This is a brilliant design as it allows to take the earphones out, without the need to put them in your pocket like you have to do with wireless devices and it continues to monitor the heart rate.
The form factor is also harder to lose or drop compared to tiny wireless earphones.
Photo gallery: please note that the unit I shot is a prototype and the final product will look nicer according to Max Wu, co-founder, Inspero.
OLED Display with Touch UI (unique – good)
The 0.95-inch OLED color display with 240×120 resolution allows users to interact with the earphones with tactile gesture interface (waves, swipes, etc.), a pretty convenient way to control their music while working out.
Connectivity (great on the paper)
Vinci 2.0 comes with built-in 3G and WiFi connectivity that allow users to place phone calls and access content online no matter where they are. According to the company, you can access music from Spotify, Soundcloud or Amazon music directly from the earphones, or you can store songs in the internal memory, depending on the model you purchase: the Vinci 2.0 lite offers 8GB, the Pro comes with 16GB and the Supreme gets 32GB.
I could not try the connectivity with the prototype I saw because the software was not yet fully implemented in there I listened and interacted with the previous model Vinci 1.5, the one with the large LCD display.
Built-in AI Assistant with voice recognition (great on the paper)
The new smart headphones feature a built-in AI assistant that works using biosensing hardware and neural network learning algorithms. Users can use voice commands to interact with the device. The AI engine learns from users’ habits and data such as heart rate, location, and music tastes, to providing music options and assistance in relation to the user’s context. We still need to try this to check how well it works.
In addition to its own proprietary smart voice assistant, Vinci 2.0 syncs with Amazon Alexa, so users can access thousands of skills while on the go.
You can pre-order the Vinci 2.0 Lite, Pro or Supreme, on the Kickstarter campaign, prices range from $79 (Lite super-early bird) to $319 (Supreme) it comes in several color options: black, white, red, and blue.
Vinci 2.0 Lite features:
- Make phone calls directly from Vinci. Vinci 2.0 features 3G cellular connectivity. You can leave your phone behind and make calls and enjoy music.
- Voice commands. Vinci 2.0 allows for a completely hands-free experience by responding to your voice. You can ask it to choose songs, start a playlist, and more.
- Fitness Trackers. Like its first generation cousin, Vinci 2.0 also tracks your body vitals and activities (heart rate, steps, cadence, and speed) during your workouts.
- Smart music recommendations. Vinci senses and recommends music based on your heart rate, activity, and listening habits. The more you use it, the more Vinci provides a personalized experience.
- Active noise cancelling. Smart noise cancelling modes that adapt to your surroundings, including home, office, train, and airplane.
- Supports Amazon Alexa. You can also login to Amazon Alexa on Vinci 2.0. With 12,000+ skills on the Alexa platform, you can play music, ask about the weather, order Pizza and even call a Uber directly from Vinci 2.0.
- Intuitive gesture control. You can control your music (change tracks and adjust volume) using simple swipes near the earpieces.
- Bone conduction mic. Vinci 2.0 are the world’s first fitness headphones to feature a bone conduction mic so you can give voice commands and make calls without having to raise your voice, even in noisy environments such as gyms and busy streets.
- Superior sound quality: Professional 12mm drivers with Liquid Crystal Polymer coated diaphragms combined with a dedicated DAC chip (AKM4376) to deliver an immersive HiFi audio experience.
- Comfortable ergonomic design: Vinci 2.0 is a unique pentagon shape worn around the neck and is constructed with lightweight materials to be comfortable and secure for all users even during vigorous workouts.
- 8GB of built-in storage. Stores up to 2,000 songs.
- Color choices. Vinci 2.0 will initially be offered in Black, White, Red and Blue models, with additional colors to come.
Vinci 2.0 Pro features (In addition to Vinci 2.0 Lite):
- All Vinci 2.0 Lite features.
- 16GB of built-in storage. Stores up to 4000 songs.
- Active Smart Noise Cancelling. Vinci 2.0 offers active noise cancelling up to 28dB. Select up to 8 scenarios for best noise suppressions. Support binaural sound recording and 3D real-time immersive sound.
- Color choice: Black, White, Red and Blue.
VINCI 2.0 Supreme features (In addition to Vinci 2.0 Pro):
- All Vinci 2.0 Pro features.
- 32GB of built-in storage. Additional offline storage.
- Bone conduction mic. The acoustic path of bone conduction allows ideal separation of speech and ambient noise, thus provide crystal clear speech recognition and voice services, even in extremely noisy environments. Vinci is proud to be the first in the world to bring this technology to consumer electronic products.
Color choice: Black, White, Red and Blue.