Sony unveiled the new Sony LinkBuds as their latest leap forward in earbud technology. The earbuds feature a unique open ring design with a hole at the centre of the earbud that enables the wearer to clearly hear the environment around them. The Sony LinkBuds can make calls, play music or stream other forms of media in what Sony’s Head of Product Business Division, Hiroshi Nakmura, described as an ‘always on’ sound gateway.
Sony has championed the LinkBuds' lightweight and compact form factor and their ability to enable you to control your audio with simple tap gestures. Sony has also advised that the LinkBuds are made from recycled plastic and other materials.
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Sony has worked with various partners to devise unique applications for the LinkBuds. Jarnail Chudge, an innovation architect at Microsoft, described how the LinkBuds will integrate with Microsoft’s Soundscape platform.
Soundscape is a navigation app that uses spatial audio to tell the user about nearby places, roads and intersections. Chudge explained how the wearers of Sony's new LinkBuds can experience a richer picture of the space around them with 3D sound callouts, without blocking the ambient sound around them. This could prove especially beneficial to people with limited vision and hearing.
The launch also invited games developers such as Niantec to talk about the potential for Link Buds to support augmented reality gaming spaces. Meanwhile, music streaming giant Spotify discussed its collaboration with Sony to develop Spotify Tap, which provides quick and seamless access to Spotify with a simple tap.
Sony’s Link Buds are available now at Sony, starting at $179.99 in dark gray or white.