Crowdfunding. Sometimes it makes you shell out so some snotnosed punk can get his damned potato salad. Sometimes it helps ridiculously innovative and useful products get up off the ground.
Nura is definitely the latter. The Melbourne-based start up company has casually managed to rock up to the plate and score Australia’s most successful Kickstarter campaign of all-time, with a whopping AUD$1.2million pledged to them from over 4,000 backers, and they only launched the dang thing three weeks ago.
The company has developed what look to be a revolutionary step forward in headphone technology, creating a product that learns your own individual hearing patterns and automatically adjusts the music they play to you in order to completely optimise it to your individual needs.
The cup-style earphones sport the fancy double-whammy of also having in-ear buds. When you first put them on, the headphones play a series of tones to you. The natural reverberations from your ear drums are recorded, quickly analysed, and a hearing fingerprint of sorts is developed and stored. The headphones then playback audio that’s been EQ optimised to that profile.
There’s about 5,500 Australian Kickstarter projects floating about at any one time, but only around 1% of global campaigns hit the mythical million mark.
The company is fronted by three blokes who clearly know their stuff – Kyle Slater, a scientist focusing on music, psychoacoustics, and who helped design Australia’s first bionic eye; Luke Campbell, an MD specialising in hearing; and Dragan Petrovic, an electrical engineer with a decade’s experience in the industry. So success on a product like this is certainly not the largest surprise.
But still, the Nura’s a bloody impressive sounding product in more ways than one. And with a million dollars now backing them in? Hopefully soon we’ll all be able to hear the difference.