Feeds

Boffins out earbuds that sound right when inserted wrong

Left is right regardless

The Essential Guide to IT Transformation

Researchers have devised a method of automatically adjusting a stereo signal to match whichever ears a pair of earphones are squeezed into.

At last, the days of squinting to see the tiny Ls and Rs on your phones may finally be at an end.

A group from the Igarashi Design Interfaces Project in Tokyo put a proximity sensor into one of the earbuds and - hey presto - it works out which ear it has been inserted into.

Igarashi Design Interfaces Project proximity headphones

With some nifty circuit work, the clever cans make sure the right stereo channel is sent to the correct ear regardless of how you've donned your cans, New Scientist reports.

Additionally, if one bud is removed, or passed to a friend for sharing, the headphones will spontaneously switch to mono output. This is detected when a weak current, which runs between the buds, is broken.

The team has even proposed to turn things up to 11, pausing tracks for "what did you just say?" moments, if the headphones are removed.

The concept will be presented at the Intelligent User Interface conference in Lisbon later this month. Rock on. ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
Nice computers don’t need to go to the toilet, says Barclays
Bad computers might ask if you are Sarah Connor
4K video on terrestrial TV? Not if the WRC shares frequencies to mobiles
Have your say with Ofcom now, before Freeview becomes Feeview
YES, iPhones ARE getting slower with each new release of iOS
Old hardware doesn't get any faster with new software
iPad? More like iFAD: We reveal why Apple fell into IBM's arms
But never fear fanbois, you're still lapping up iPhones, Macs
You didn't get the MeMO? Asus Pad 7 Android tab is ... not bad
Really, er, stands out among cheapie 7-inchers
Apple winks at parents: C'mon, get your kid a tweaked Macbook Pro
Cheapest models given new processors, more RAM
VMware builds product executables on 50 Mac Minis
And goes to the Genius Bar for support
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
Microsoft stands on shore as tablet-laden boat sails away
Brit buyers still not falling for Windows' charms
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.