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Can you design the headphones of the future?
Have you ever seen a pair of headphones and thought to yourself, “Wow what a terrible design, I can do better than that!” Well now is your chance to prove it. Harman has partnered with New York City based company Quirky to launch a design competition in the hopes of finding the next great design for headphones.
Harman is a giant umbrella company that owns a number of well-known audio brands including JBL, AKG, and of course Harmon Kardon. Meanwhile, Quirky is a company that gives inventors a shot at making their ideas a reality and the two have announced the first invention challenge called Headphones of Tomorrow that hopes to tackle a few key questions regarding the future of headphones. For instance, how else can headphones be customized? How can smart technology be used to improve headphones and what else should headphones do besides allow you to listen to music?
Lately we’ve seen a number of smaller companies like Phaz and Aivvy push the limits of what conventional headphones should do for the user. The Phaz 2 headphones come with an internal battery that allows them to charge portable devices and Aivvy has made a pair of headphones that also act as a smart independent music player. Products like these could be the beginning of an entirely new kind of product category that is less headphone, more wearable. Harmon seems to be realizing that in order to truly be innovative in form and function, the industry needs a fresh perspective. This competition is allowing the public to shape the future of something most of us can’t live without. If you have an idea of what the future should sound like, now is the time to make that idea a reality.
If you’re interested, there are only three guidelines you must follow. One of them being that your product must be possible to create with current technology, so a feature of them can’t be teleportation or warp drive (yet). The second guideline is that it has to be a physical consumer product, no business plans or apps. The last guideline is you have to be sure the product doesn’t already exist or it will be automatically disqualified. If your idea fits all of those qualifications then you can submit your idea until Tuesday, April 21st.
The submission can be a doodle, a blueprint, or even just a sentence or two explaining the concept. If chosen, Harmon and Quirky will make it happen. Who knows, maybe next month I’ll be writing about your design. Good luck!