Microsoft is Researching Earbuds That Play Music Based on Your Mood
Stressed during your commute? Time for “Livin’ on a Prayer.” Or at least it will be if Microsoft develops the headphones one of its researchers is currently working on. Called “Septimu,” these new headphones would take your standard earbuds to a whole new level — by playing music suited to your mood.
According to the project’s research page, Septimu headphones would contain IMUs (internal measurement units, used for tracking movement), a thermometer and a heart rate monitor. The headphones would be able to do things like detect your posture, keep a health diary, and monitor exercise patterns — features that will likely appeal to those interested in the “quantified self” movement, or using digital insights as tools to better ourselves.
University of Virginia graduate student Shahriar Nirjon used the headphones for an app, Musical Heart, which monitors heart rate and then selects music for the listener. The app can help you maintain a target rate during exercise or relaxing, according to UVA Today. “We’ve designed Musical Heart to be convenient, non-invasive, personalized and low cost,” Nirjon told UVA Today in 2012.
Microsoft’s not the first to toy with the idea of making our headphones do more. Neurowear (the makers behind the infamous mind-reading cat ears) announced earlier this year that it was developing headphones with a brain wave sensor that would play music based on the listener’s mood.
Move over Google Glass and JawBone — the next wearable tech breakthrough might be music to our ears.