Retail therapy: The future grail of technology in music
Tomorrow’s music tech comes today & it looks avant-garde AF
As space travel gears itself towards being a “leisurely activity” by Elon Musk and his SpaceX engineers, we’re seeing a growth towards an interest in living far beyond the age we currently reside in. To be honest, we’re surprised that flying cars haven’t hit the mainstream market yet. In any case, the music industry has seen a glimmer of the future with gear that tells us we’re far ahead of our time.
Whether we like it or not, technology is in our blood, or it might as well be, and the notion of being without a device that contains a lithium battery might seem way past our capabilities. If anything, we use more and more tech on a daily basis to ease our busy schedules. Imagine not having our events plugged into the calendar; what did we have planned this Thursday again?
From augmented reality headphones, visual speakers and immersive backpacks to a suit that fuels you through a night of partying, we’ve dug into everything a music aficionado in the future needs, which has landed in our time zone.
It’s 2022 and parts of our world are headed towards living like The Jetsons. Fun fact: George Jetson would’ve been born this year on July 31 (take that in).
Here’s a list of a few items that have caught our eyes:
There are speakers, then there’s “sound beaming” — an unheard-of device that beams auditory sounds straight into your head. This revolutionary device allows a user to go headphone and earphone-less while keeping the sounds from their device beaming right into the privacy of your own ears.
It works through AI speakers designed by Israeli company Noveto Systems that use a 3D sensing model to locate the users’ ears. The device sends ultrasonic waves by creating sound pockets and sending any audio toward the listener. Only those in the vicinity of the waves will be able to hear the audio and without coverage from the outside world, this would also mean that you’d be able to hear others calling to you.
Beam sounds by heading here
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RAZER Zephyr Pro
Rave masks come as no big surprise in the scene since face masks are required during the age of our most recent pandemic… or endemic. This makes perfect sense as to why RAZER jumped on the opportunity to counter all the reasons why we hate wearing masks on a daily basis, while giving it an oomph in the identity section.
Back in 2021, RAZER revealed Project Hazel which evolved into the sold-out Zephyr mask that cost US$100. This mask is said to work with a two-way air filter system, plus replaceable N95 grade filters that include an anti-fog coating. This year, RAZER announced a Zephyr Pro version which includes voice amplification and RGB lighting that would cost US$150. You might have to give up your Vicks for this mask at a rave, but the LED lights and clean air would make up for it... maybe.Get your hands on the upcoming Zephyr Pro version here
We’ve all heard the saying and notion of “feeling the music”, and most of the time, with some added help, we truly can “feel” the music. The SUBPAC has now made it possible to experience a tactile audio system that culminates an immersive experience through the bones beneath your skin.
The SUBPAC takes low-frequency waves and sends them to a device which then converts them into high fidelity physical bass by opening a physical dimension of sound. The sound acts on 3 layers of immersion through haptics on the skin, interception in the muscle and bone conduction which pulls the listener into a deeper, intense zone along with the music of their choice.
With positive proven results, the SUBPAC has also evolved to enter the automotive industry, music production, gaming and facilitate those who are hearing-impaired.To experience a fully immersive experience with the SUBPAC, learn more here
TOC (a vertical record player)
With a surge in vinyl sales over the last few years, owning a vinyl player that looks like it was placed in an era above the regular tabletop can be a true statement piece in your home. In 2015, industrial designer Roy Harpaz created a vertical record player with two simple goals; one that is easy to use and two, it boasts a clean design.
The TOC uses a linear tracking system to ensure its analogue sound is meticulously captured and this important factor has been factored in for all vinyl aficionados. It also allows for plays with vinyl of different sizes vertically from 7″, 10″ and 12″ records. If you have warped vinyl that you were thinking of tossing, hold that thought... this player may save your vintage finds, as the player includes a feature that uses spherical bearings. There’s no doubt we saw one of these sitting in Judy Jetson’s living room.
For more information, hop over to Roy Harpaz’s website here
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From the creators who know what’s best in the industry, Production Club from Los Angeles gave us the answer to remove the social distancing regulation with their Micrashell Futuresuit. Having created installations and light shows for many electronic artists, their innovative solution comes through with an anti-contagion suit that allows raving in a pandemic-fuelled realm.
The hazmat outfit features a tight suit with resistant fabric and includes a helmet that has a portal for drinks or a funnel to smoke your vape — aka for hotboxing yourself all night. It also includes a space for your phone, voice communication capabilities, sound system, camera and more. This suit doesn’t just complete our pandemic necessities, it also could be very handy in an apocalypse.Find out more about the Micrashell Futuresuit here
Van der Waals
Visuals have always come hand in hand when it comes to music, whether it was back on your Windows 95 Winamp player or live at festival grounds with your favourite DJs. The Van der Waals ferromagnetic speaker has got your auditory and visual dreams covered through a magnetic liquid that was originally developed by NASA.
Bringing the music to life, you won’t be the only one dancing to beats — the ferromagnet joins you as well. The speaker's stylish outlook is not the only thing that stands out. The receivers used come from leaders in wireless technology, Qualcomm, and the amps and DSPs are from Texas Instruments. We won’t be surprised if we see ferromagnet being used in our daily lives when we hit the year 2700.
It’s already out on Kickstarter and you’re still able to get your hands on it
When you hear the brand Dyson, the first thing that comes to mind is the hefty price point. However, with that being said, the product at hand is always top-notch and innovative. There’s no surprise that their latest product fits the bill of what they’ve already specialized in for years, — an air purifying device that doubles up as noise-cancelling headphones. The Dyson Zone is a true pandemic necessity.
Imagine everyone walking around with these Bane lookalike devices — truly a world that was unheard of. Then again we didn’t predict one where mask mandates were a thing either. As for the device, it does not state that it filters out viral contagions such as COVID-19, but it does filter out allergens and pollutants. It also includes an open pathway from the device to the face, yet there is a separate attachment that can make it into a full-contact face mask.
The global launch looks to happen in the fall of this year. Head here for more on the device
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If you thought the Google Glass was way ahead of its time, you might find the ORA-X augmented reality headphones one that’s quite unbelievable of existing today. Starting its way through Indiegogo, the device came to life in 2015 with its full existence in 2016. The ORA-X features a small retinal display that showcases all of Android’s apps on the side of your peripheral view. It might just ramp up our capabilities of multitasking while walking, running or driving — kind of… sort of dangerous too, maybe?
The team at Optinvent has reinvented what we use on our mobile devices, tablets or laptops straight to suit the convenience of our eyes. Soon, we’re expecting these to be fixed onto our contact lenses, but for now the ORA-X takes the prize in being a full scale “smart” headphone that sets us 10 steps into the future.
Check out their Indiegogo here
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Miki Kitasako is Mixmag Asia’s Social Media and Content Producer, follow her on LinkedIn