Jawbone Era sticks an accelerometer in your noise-canceling headset, we go hands-on

Sean Hollister
S. Hollister|01.20.11

Sponsored Links

Jawbone Era sticks an accelerometer in your noise-canceling headset, we go hands-on
With a fantastic Bluetooth headset on the market and a pumpin' portable speaker to blast out jams, how could Jawbone improve their product lineup? Well, we still think a stereo headset might be swell... but that's not what the company delivered today. No, this is the Jawbone Era, the world's first Bluetooth earpiece with a built-in accelerometer for motion-sensing apps, and plenty more improvements where that came from. There's a new version of the company's NoiseAssassin noise-canceling algorithms that adjusts inbound volume and equalization to let you hear better, an extra-large 10mm cone speaker with a larger range of frequencies, two processors, more memory, and an hour of extra battery life compared to the Jawbone Icon, to be specific. With only two motions currently recognized -- a double-tap to begin / end / switch calls and a rapid shake to pair -- the accelerometer's a bit of a gimmick for now, but Jawbone suggests more gestures are probably on the way. In the meanwhile, the other advancements might make the Era worth the price of entry -- which is $130, by the by.

We've spent about five hours with the headset already, listening to music and taking calls, and while the accelerometer seems almost wasted at present, there's no discounting that new 10mm driver and the audio it can pump out. While no substitute for a set of quality dedicated earbuds, it sounded worlds better than the Jawbone Icon's tiny, tinny drum, and playing Pandora tracks we no longer felt an overpowering desire to take it out of our ear -- making a cyborg existence all the more bearable, we suppose. We'll bring you a full review soon, but if you're already sold, you'll find four different Era designs on sale at Jawbone's online store... oh, right about now. PR after the break.
Show full PR text
JawBone launches the world's first motion-controlled Bluetooth® headset with hd audio: JAWBONE ERA™

Jawbone ERA is the first and only headset with a built-in accelerometer, MotionX™ technology, a multi-processor architecture, HD Audio, and a connected app platform to enable a rich new hands-free experience

San Francisco, Calif. - Jan. 20 - Jawbone, a leading innovator of products and services for the mobile lifestyle, today unveiled Jawbone ERA™. The Jawbone ERA Bluetooth® headset delivers the highest quality HD audio experience, unprecedented intelligence using motion technology, and a robust computing platform that all work together to deliver richer applications.

"We're taking wearable devices to an entirely new level," said Jawbone CEO and founder Hosain Rahman. "We've perfected a complete in-bound and out-bound audio experience that is so rich it is almost addictive - whether you are listening to your favorite song or a phone call. On top of the HD audio, the integrated sensors and intelligence enable magical new ways to interact with device and apps through natural, intuitive motion control, changing forever the way we use headsets. It's really exciting to embark on this new journey with our users."

Jawbone ERA brings HD Audio

Jawbone ERA delivers the richest, most life-like and clear sound to date. It boasts a 25% larger wideband speaker that brings Hi-Definition audio as you talk on the phone, listen to music, watch movies and play games.

It also builds on Jawbone's legacy of noise-cancelling expertise with the latest version of military-grade NoiseAssassin® 3.0 technology. It can detect your surroundings and adjust the inbound volume and intelligibility, whether you're in a restaurant, ball game or traffic to give you the clearest, richest sound, automatically without any user intervention. You can always hear and be heard wherever you are.

Jawbone ERA: The First Headset with a Built-In Accelerometer and MotionX™ for a New Control Paradigm

Jawbone was the first company to integrate sensors to enhance the audio experience, and now is delivering the most accurate motion sensing technology on the market. Jawbone teamed with Fullpower-MotionX, the leaders in motion technology, to create the first headset with a built-in accelerometer integrated with the patented MotionX™ platform.

"The next era of personal technology is about products that adapt to the way we live," continued Rahman. "The best technology will reliably and seamlessly take the friction out of any experience. That's why we chose to adopt the Fullpower-MotionX™ technology platform: it is far and away the most accurate and effective solution out there."

Jawbone ERA detects your natural movements when you interact with it. Out of the box, users can simply "Shake Shake®" the Jawbone ERA into pairing mode, and "TapTap®" it to answer or end a phone call. And this is just the beginning. Jawbone has a full roadmap of innovation and enhancements under development with its partners at Fullpower-MotionX.

"Like MotionX, Jawbone pushes the innovation boundary, so we are natural partners," explains Philippe Kahn, Fullpower CEO. "MotionX integrated with the Jawbone ERA makes for a phenomenal user experience. This is the first step in a roadmap of continued innovation for years to come."

Jawbone ERA: More Processing Power, Richer Apps like Caller ID by Name

Jawbone ERA headset is a tiny computer on the ear, complete with multi-processor architecture and serial flash, paving the way for innovative applications on the headset down the road. Today, users can take advantage of several new apps, including Caller ID that will identify callers by name in a friendly, non-robotic voice. As with all Jawbone products, Jawbone ERA can be updated via the MyTALK platform, ensuring that it will get richer over time.

Jawbone ERA is available in four sophisticated designs: Shadowbox, Smokescreen, Midnight and Silver Lining. The new line is available today on Jawbone.com for $129, and at Apple Stores, AT&T and Best Buy stores on Sunday, January 23.

Jawbone Headsets are the First and Only Ones that come with a Free Voice Communication Service for Utility and Productivity: THOUGHTS

Jawbone THOUGHTS is the first and only free iPhone app for your headset that lets you send voice messages to friends and groups without typing or calling. It is a new productivity and utility tool for headsets that combines the speed of texting, the group collaboration of email, and the rich intonation of voice all into one. THOUGHTS can be found under "Jawbone" in the iPhone App Store.

Become a fan on Facebook: Facebook.com/jawbone
Follow us on Twitter: @Jawbone
See our videos on YouTube: YouTube.com/AliphJawbone
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Popular on Engadget