Bluetooth earbuds like Dre's new Powerbeats aren't actually "cordless." They still have a cable running from one bud to the other, which puts a limit on just how tidy and inconspicuous they can be. A group of former Sony Ericsson and Nokia engineers reckon they can go a step further: losing the connecting cable and headset mic in order to create two miniscule, music-dedicated buds with independent batteries and AptX-compatible wireless receivers.
Known collectively as "Earin" -- though it's hard not to think of them as "Earins" -- the buds promise three hours on a charge. Admittedly, that sort of battery life isn't great, especially if it's an ideal spec rather than the dependable minimum, but the engineers have a solution for this too: When not in use, you place the Earins in a small tube that both protects and re-charges them, using its own battery. (An idea that was also put forward as a stretch goal on a similar Kickstarter project, The Dash, albeit for much bigger and heavier buds.) The overall effect actually looks quite practical, which probably explains why the project is already halfway to its £180,000 ($300,000) funding target. A £99 ($170) contribution from you at the Kickstarter page will nudge things along and, assuming the target is met and the whole thing actually comes to fruition, secure you a pair sometime in January 2015.