For some of us, the terms “wearable tech” conjures up images of Steve Mann’s backpack-mounted computer or those terribly embarrassing pocket protectors of the ’80s, even if those weren’t quite considered “technology.” From watches to rings, innovators are doing everything they can to stand out in today’s wearable marketplace. As previously discussed on Bits & Pieces, the industry stands for a greater chance of mass consumer adoption if it can somehow find a way to increase its chicness. A recent report noted that in order for wearable devices to swiftly move beyond just smart glasses and watches, it will need to embrace products in a wider variety of sectors, including style and glamor.
It appears an Australian Maker by the name of Will Miller has done just that. In an attempt to bring fashion forward, the mastermind has unveiled a sleek snapback cap. Snaptrax — which recently launched on Kickstarter — offers wearers hands-free and headphone-free voice command to connect, control and interact with their smartphones. Embedded with a Bluetooth module in its brim, as well as microphone and speakers in the corners of the cap, it appears no different than a traditional baseball cap. Subsequently, this allows for the user to inconspicuously make and receive calls, respond to texts and emails, not to mention control music.
From his experience in the fast paced music industry, Miller had encountered the problem of fumbling and dropping his phone while on the go. The Maker conceived Snaptrax when he was conversing with a friend and observed that many of his peers were currently donning baseball caps. In a moment of genius, he proclaimed, “Imagine if we hid a bluetooth device within the cap lining to allow a user to send messages, answer phone calls, even play your music all controlled with your own voice!”
Who could benefit from such a device? According to its Kickstarter page, Snaptrax appeals to athletes, tradesmen, drivers, parents, and other active individuals. The team is focused on those with on the go lifestyles and is attempting to maintain an ideal hybrid of functionality and style. “Obviously we don’t want the whole lining to be filled with batteries.” Miller tells Gizmag that the group is aiming for “around a 90 minute charge time and a couple of days use at a time.”
The team is currently focusing on the iOS platform, but an Android application is in the plans. In the future, the team is looking to release a software developer’s kit for the wearable control unit so that global contributors can help improve the product as it evolves. The Snaptrax team will also be looking to incorporate new designs including visors and bucket hats. To learn more about the Snaptrax project, feel free to head over to its official Kickstarter page here.