By Jared Newman | Monday, September 21, 2009 at 6:09 pm
Here’s a neat idea from Sony Ericsson: Put motion sensors in earbuds, so they automatically stop playback when you pop them out, and resume the music when you put them back in. As someone who hates fumbling for the play button when temporarily removing earbuds — say, to answer a question — I’m interested.
The MH907 earbuds use capacitive sensors that turn your ear into an electrical conduit, determining whether the earbuds are inserted. In addition to controlling music, the earbuds work as a cell phone headset, going into call mode when you insert only one bud.
Here’s the catch: You’ll need one of Sony Ericsson’s phones with a Fast Port connector, as opposed to a standard 3.5 mm jack.
On one hand, this makes sense, as you’re sending as well as receiving information from the headphones. Still, iPods are able to detect when you’ve removed headphones from the jack entirely, so I’m wondering if a 3.5 mm connection could at least handle the basic on and off switching from the motion sensor. In any case, I can’t fault Sony Ericsson for using a cool accessory to sell its music phones.
Before today, Sony Ericsson was teasing that this announcement would change the way we listen to music forever. That seems a little extreme, but if there’s any chance the company hasn’t locked up the idea with a patent, I’m hoping we’ll see other manufacturers follow suit.