Woojer is a wearable mobile accessory designed to allow its wearer to feel what they’re listening to on their mobile device — via the medium of haptic feedback — rather than simply having banging tunes inserted into their earholes. It’s also being aimed at gamers who want a more immersive in-game experience, or for watching movies or other audiovisual content on a mobile device.
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The Israel-based startup behind Woojer, which closed a $600,000 angel round earlier this year, has been developing the product since the start of 2011. It currently has a working prototype — and plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign next month to raise funding for an initial production run. If that’s successful, they hope to ship to backers in early Spring 2014.
How exactly does Woojer work? Its creators describe it as a “tactile transducer” that reproduces sound as a polyphonic vibration, allowing a haptic, noiseless element to augment the standard stereo audio the user hears via their own headphones (which plug into the Woojer box via a 3.5mm headphone jack).
Unlike some of the rival offerings in this space, such as subpac and bassAware Holster, Woojer doesn’t require the user to strap on some form of backpack or wear a special headset. (Or look like they buy all their clothes at Cyberdog.) Instead, the roughly matchbox-sized box is clipped to clothing so it rests against the body. Its low frequency vibrations then create a physical bass sensation — similar to hearing live music at a concert or cinema surround sound. Or that’s the theory.
Here’s how Woojer explains the tech — which it will be showing off next week at Pepcom in San Francisco:
The key Woojer know-how lies in the novel tactile transducer that reproduces sound as a polyphonic vibration. The device has accurate frequency response throughout the sonic and subsonic ranges. Clipped to the clothing along strategic meridian bodylines, the signal synergy convinces the brain that the whole body is exposed to high acoustic energy by the principle of “Perceptual Inference”. The device is compact, low cost, energy efficient and scalable. We have demonstrated both corded and wireless configurations.