OK, it's not as groundbreaking as that internet-connected baby onesie, but Intel's smart earbud concept is still one of the neater items you'll find inside the company's CES booth. In brief, it's a pair of headphones with sensors inside the earpiece that can monitor your heart rate. The headphones themselves are powered through the headphone jack, which means you'll never have to worry about running out of juice mid-workout.
But anyway, you don't care how it charges; you want to know what it does. Using that biometric data, the earbuds work with a companion app, where you can set a target heart rate for your workouts, and automatically select appropriate music tracks (fast, slow, et cetera). According to Indira Negi, who invented the earbuds, the built-in music coach won't change songs too abruptly, even if your heart rate does fluctuate a bit. Rather, you'd get a warning and then, if you still weren't reaching your target heart rate, the app would switch to slower-tempo songs. For now, Negi can't say when this will ship or how much it will cost; just that Intel is working with partners to potentially bring it to market. Until then, we've included some hands-on photos below, just in case you quantified-self nerds out there want to see how the app works.
Intel Smart Earbuds hands-on