When Max Wu came up with the idea of Vinci, a pair of smart headphones that had a fully functional Android operating system built-in, he “envisioned a computer that sits on your head.”
And the co-founder of the Beijing-based Inspero Inc. built and released just that last year: a set of bulky headphones that almost looked like it was sitting on the user’s head. While many reviewers — including myself — praised Vinci’s ability to stream music and offer AI voice assistant all without the need to tether to a phone, almost all of us found the device too big and cumbersome.
Wu noticed the consensus: “For the follow-up, it was important for us to shrink the form factor from the original.”
The sequel, named Vinci 2.0, is here. And it weighs 84 grams, a big drop from the 260 grams of the original. That’s because, as you can see from the image above, the 2.0s are earbuds instead of headphones. But despite shredding so much physical size, the 2.0 keeps every feature of the original plus offers a few more.
This means it is still a fully self-contained all-in-one headset. It can, as mentioned earlier, stream music from Spotify, Amazon or Soundcloud; track your heart rate and runs; offer not one but two voice assistants (Amazon’s Alexa, plus Inspero’s own Vinci) to do things like map search and navigation. And new this year is the active noise cancellation and use of bone conduction microphones which directs user voice commands to the Vinci in a more clear acoustic path.
Presented by OVH, the major player in the European cloud market, and URights, the global music copyright management system co-developed by Sacem and IBM, Midemlab finalists delivered their pitches today at Midem in front of an audience and jury of investors and potential partners.
Previous editions of Midemlab proved to be a valuable launchpad for many leading startups in the entertainment field such as SoundCloud, The Echo Nest, Kickstarter, BandPage, Songkick, Next Big Sound and Stagelink – to name a few.
Vinci won in the Experiential technologies – AR/VR, high resolution, IoT & hardware category
First, the issue of having to carry your device (cell phone/music player) in your pocket or on an arm band is resolved with Vinci’s internal storage, touchscreen interface, and independent data through mobile internet and/or Wifi. This is truly the first of it’s kind for a headphone as it does not require additional third party devices and can be controlled via Amazon Alexa based voice assistant. Of course, Bluetooth connectivity is also available for those that want to use their phone for more of a personal experience.
In a move that is bringing new quality to the experience of internet radio and audio streaming, Mr. Dejun Zeng, the passionate radio technologist known as the “Father of the Tube Amplifier” in China, is expanding his company, Muzen Audio Group, to the United States.
The company is premiering in the U.S. at CES, where they are receiving a 2017 CES Innovation Award for their new AM/FM/internet radio and Bluetooth speaker product (the fifth CES Innovation Award to be received by Mr. Zeng). With its vintage design, the internet radio product serves as a bridge from the past to the future.