Bragi is determined to stand out in the increasingly crowded smart earbud space, and it might just have an ace up its sleeve. The startup and its partner Audio Analytic are promising to show off the first "context-aware earphones" at CES in January -- that is, a Dash Pro whose AI can recognize nearby sounds and act accordingly. While the exact capabilities are under wraps, Audio Analytic hints at recognizing both conversations and ambient sounds. The earphones might pipe down when you start talking to a friend, or let in more outside sound if an ambulance is approaching with sirens blaring.
As before, the AI will be built into the earpieces themselves and thus won't depend on your phone or an internet connection to make sense of the world. And that's important -- the ultimate goal is to reduce the need for physical controls by having your earbuds automatically do the right thing, and that means ensuring that the AI responds quickly and consistently.
It's not clear when this feature might be available to the public. It could be key to Bragi's future, whenever it shows up. Other fledgling companies have struggled to survive, and heavyweights like Apple, Google and Samsung are closing in. Audio recognition could give Bragi an edge others can't currently match.