The surprise announcement from yesterday was a brand-new product for Microsoft, the Surface Headphones.
Now it seems this was just the start of a theme, as today it was revealed that Microsoft has invested in a smart headphone startup Human Inc.
The company, which started on Indiegogo, is developing its Sound wireless headphones, which feature a unique truly wireless over the ear design, allowing the company to do more with the larger surface area, such as comfortable touch controls, embed more smarts and offer better sound quality with larger drivers and better sound isolation.
Human is promising their headphones will also offer intelligent voice control, all-day comfort and fit, powerful sound, and more, and raised $21 million in Series B investment, with Microsoft a prominent strategic investor.
See their Indiegogo pitch below:
While headphones may seem like an unusual venture for Microsoft, the devices are likely designed to serve Microsoft’s main productivity theme by making developers and other office workers more efficient by isolating them from noise and disturbance and simultaneously giving them easy access to smart assistants such as Cortana to help them get their work done.
Lead investor Fred Warren explains it well:
“Human Inc. offers a unique investment opportunity that is focused at the confluence of three important market trends: voice computing, smart wearables, and a dramatic increase in wireless headphone usage,” he notes.
“The headphone market is ripe for innovation,” confirmed Ben Willis, Human Inc’s co-founder and Chief Visionary Officer. “Looking beyond today’s legacy headphone designs, we see a huge opportunity for a new form factor designed specifically for busy, digital natives who wear headphones throughout the day.”
The product appears to have been in development for some years, and the company appears to have dropped some of its more ambitious goals such as fitness and sleep tracking. Do our readers see a set of these in their future? Let us know below.