Are you a lover of music? Then Vinci Hearable is a name that you’ll want to remember.
It is the first music player with a built in artificial intelligence feature that will recommend personalized songs based on the body data and environmental status of the user. From the wearer, it collects information such as heart rate, current location, moving speed, and much more, analyses the data, and responds with various suitable and relevant music.
Cathy Cao is the Overseas Business Director for VINCI (Inspero Inc.). Although a true New Yorker at heart, she is currently working with the team in Beijing to prepare for their crowdfunding campaign. She was able to give us an insight into the background of Vinci Hearable and a fantastic sneak peak of the upcoming features.
When did VINCI begin?
VINCI was founded in September of 2014, and the first product was launched in China in October 2015. So, we’ve been in business for almost two years now. We have a pretty big team, it’s a solid team of about 35 people. I take care of all the U.S. and overseas marketing and business.
So, is this the first product for Vinci Hearable?
Nope. The first one was launched in China in October 2015. Then we collected a bunch of feedback, did lots more testing, and we’re ready to launch a whole new, updated version to the English-speaking market
Have you had an Asian launch of the product already?
Not for the second product. We are launching this upcoming product to the English-speaking market first. Currently, we’re making prototype and beta units to ship out for testing and reviewing before our launch.
So it’s a new music experience with visualisation and it’s a voice activated with body sensors and advanced algorithms, which is amazing! If you were to meet me on the street, how would you describe the product?
So, what we really wanted to do was make a product within the experience that would allow users to be able to listen to music on the go in a different way, a much easier way, and a much more enjoyable way.
Users would be able to stream music via music streaming services using a wifi or data network (i.e. 3G). Then we have the ability to save them to local storage, 32 gigs. Once you save them, then they become your favourites. Then you can listen to them offline or online.
With the voice control, that makes it much easier because instead of searching for songs directly or manually on your phone (you have to pick…go through into the home button and my playlist, and you know), you can just call out, ‘I want to listen to Rihanna’s “Stay”.’ Or ‘I want to listen to Beyonce’, and then swipe through all of Beyonce’s songs or an album. Or you can just say ‘I’m not feeling well today’. Then based on your previous listening history, based on your heart rate right now, your current status, it should be able to recommend a song that’s suitable for you. That’s personalized to you.
There’s Visualisation when it’s playing, so the headphones have a touchscreen. You can flash onscreen whatever you’re feeling or whatever you want – like a word, your logo or your name.
That’s just come in hasn’t it? Because I saw it posted on your facebook page that you guys have just put that on as a feature.
Well, within the Chinese model there were characters that flashed onscreen that were words but you can’t flash onscreen each character in English, it’ll take forever to spell out a word. So now we’ve converted the feature to English word-adaptable.
Is it the user selection, or is it what the actual title of that audio or song?
You customize it. You can write whatever you want to write.
So, that is new isn’t it? In comparison to other brands or all the ones where they’re more focussed on getting the best hearing technology. VINCI are thinking more about the user, rather than just the experience of listening to it.
Right, we’re thinking not only about sound quality (which we do have hi-fi sound), but also about user experience. For the other brands, it’s highly focused on hardware components. There’s no software in there. Unlike them, we have a combination of hardware and software, which allows for a lot more functionality and value.
With only the hardware component, listening to music on-the-go is still difficult – you have the headphones and you have your mobile phone, you have apps, you have maybe wires to connect to your headphones. You have to connect them up to Bluetooth, and every time you want to listen to music, you have to do that, rather then just putting on headphones like VINCI and being able listen to music right away.
How long does a battery last?
It’s 7 hours continuous play with the screen on.
What color range are they available in?
Currently we have white, red, black, purple, hot pink, and yellow. Six different color variations. We are still deciding on colors for the second product, so we are open to taking suggestions from our fans.
Durability wise, because before I spoke to you today, I was chatting to a friend of mine…I said, look you’ve got to see this. This is who I’m going to be talking to tomorrow. And they said, ‘ok, I see that they’re running on that cliff’. I said, ‘yes’. They said, ‘well, if they (the headset) falls off, how durable are they’?
Right. So, that’s an interesting question because I would imagine for any headset that falls from a certain high distance and hits the floor great force and pressure, it would probably not last that long. And, it depends also how many times you drop it. But, what we can promise is the security that it will fit your head. The ear cuffs wrap securely around the ears and the headband wrap suitably around the head as well. We tested this on over 500 different human heads to ensure this security.
Yeah it doesn’t move. I think he was a bit disturbed around the LCD screens, about them smashing.
Yeah. So if we can ensure that it won’t fall off, than you won’t run into the problem of them falling off and breaking.
Then the next question becomes, if you’re running or if say you’re at the gym, are they going to be safe on their heads and will sweating affect any of the operating systems?
When you’re running…this device isn’t meant for extreme sports. But if you’re just jogging it won’t fall off. It’s pretty secure on the head. If you sweat, it won’t affect any operating systems. The hardware and the chips, they’re all securely bundled. So it shouldn’t affect that kind of problem.
What are the differences between the first and second model?
We’re still finalizing a few hardware and software decisions. As of right now, the second version is going to look more premium. It’s going to look more metallic – kind of like a metallic glow light. Quality-wise, it’s going to be different as well. Software is going to be more updated, many more functions, hardware is going to be lighter, and still high fidelity So a lot more improvements.
So you’re going to be starting the U.S model with a crowd funding campaign, when does that kick off?
We’re looking at starting the campaign in 2-4 months time.
So I’ve read a little bit more on your page, and I went and signed up to ‘join the waitlist’. So does that mean that the English-adapted model will have testers? If so, how is it possible to become a tester?
Yeah – you’re right. We’re thinking about 30 testers. So how we’re picking is once everyone signs up on the email list, in like a month, we’re going to pick the testers randomly out of the crowd.
If you want to stay informed about our progress and win a chance to become a tester, you can sign up for our newsletter: vinci.im.
Where are the best places for people to follow Vinci Hearable?
To become a tester, join our waitlist here: http://vinci.im/en
If this on-the-go music wearable with a voice assistant, body sensors, and advanced algorithms sounds like you, definitely head over to join their waitlist or to follow Vinci Hearable through their upcoming crowdfunding campaign.
For more information or any queries you can also email them at firstname.lastname@example.org