Intel Is Launching Fitness-Tracking Earbuds, Hoping 50 Cent Will Make Them Cool

The Citizen's Guide to the Future
Aug. 15 2014 5:46 PM

Intel Is Launching Fitness-Tracking Earbuds, Hoping 50 Cent Will Make Them Cool

intel
SMS Audio BioSport In-Ear Headphones powered by Intel. Catchy name.

Photo from Intel.

Intel processors are everywhere, but the company isn’t exactly known for lifestyle products. Meanwhile, 50 Cent’s company SMS Audio isn't known for its tech. Bring the two together, though, and what do you have? Well ... another awkward corporate partnership.

The two groups are joining forces to launch earbuds that do biometric tracking and are geared toward fitness. The idea is to reduce the number of gadgets users carry around instead of adding to them with a smartwatch or other wearable. The headphones are wired and draw power through the standard 3.5mm headphone jack to keep the sensors up and running without charging. They measure heart rate and sync to a smartphone app. The price hasn't been announced yet, but other SMS Audio earbuds currently cost between $79 and $399 (unless they’re on sale).

Advertisement

The concept is pretty clever. The headphones use accelerometers to make sure the heart rate data collected by the optical sensor isn’t thrown off by exercise motion, and the app can even choose the songs that come on over the headphones by matching tempos to the user’s heart rate.

"The wearable technology collaboration between SMS Audio and Intel elevates our capability to bring smart exercise to consumers," Brian M. Nohe, the president of SMS Audio, said in a press release.

The Wall Street Journal reports that there isn’t an Intel chip inside the earbuds, but that the company did much of the product engineering and software design. Don't worry, guys, Carmelo Anthony is an investor in SMS Audio. This is gonna be fine.

Future Tense is a partnership of SlateNew America, and Arizona State University.

Lily Hay Newman is lead blogger for Future Tense.

TODAY IN SLATE

Politics

Meet the New Bosses

How the Republicans would run the Senate.

The Government Is Giving Millions of Dollars in Electric-Car Subsidies to the Wrong Drivers

Scotland Is Just the Beginning. Expect More Political Earthquakes in Europe.

Cheez-Its. Ritz. Triscuits.

Why all cracker names sound alike.

Friends Was the Last Purely Pleasurable Sitcom

The Eye

This Whimsical Driverless Car Imagines Transportation in 2059

Medical Examiner

Did America Get Fat by Drinking Diet Soda?  

A high-profile study points the finger at artificial sweeteners.

The Afghan Town With a Legitimately Good Tourism Pitch

A Futurama Writer on How the Vietnam War Shaped the Series

  News & Politics
Photography
Sept. 21 2014 11:34 PM People’s Climate March in Photos Hundreds of thousands of marchers took to the streets of NYC in the largest climate rally in history.
  Business
Business Insider
Sept. 20 2014 6:30 AM The Man Making Bill Gates Richer
  Life
Quora
Sept. 22 2014 8:07 AM Why Haven’t the Philadelphia Eagles Ever Won a Super Bowl?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Sept. 19 2014 4:58 PM Steubenville Gets the Lifetime Treatment (And a Cheerleader Erupts Into Flames)
  Slate Plus
Science
Sept. 22 2014 8:08 AM Slate Voice: “Why Is So Much Honey Clover Honey?” Mike Vuolo shares the story of your honey.
  Arts
Television
Sept. 21 2014 9:00 PM Attractive People Being Funny While Doing Amusing and Sometimes Romantic Things Don’t dismiss it. Friends was a truly great show.
  Technology
Future Tense
Sept. 22 2014 7:47 AM Predicting the Future for the U.S. Government The strange but satisfying work of creating the National Intelligence Council’s Global Trends report.
  Health & Science
Bad Astronomy
Sept. 22 2014 5:30 AM MAVEN Arrives at Mars
  Sports
Sports Nut
Sept. 18 2014 11:42 AM Grandmaster Clash One of the most amazing feats in chess history just happened, and no one noticed.