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Show HN: I made earrings that work like earphones (peripherii.com)
462 points by Aurum197 7 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 184 comments

It looks really cool and innovative, so congrats.

However, it's pretty hard to evaluate since there's nothing concrete on the site and it's hard to imagine how they work.

What buttons do they have? How do they charge? How do you actually hear the audio when it doesn't actually go in your ear? Since it doesn't go in your ear, can someone next to you hear your audio -- is it private? What part swaps out? What's the battery life? What's the price? How much is the base price, and how much for each swappable part? Etc. etc. etc.

From the website alone (ignoring your HN title), I'd assume you haven't made these yet and you're just trying to gauge demand. But assuming you actually have made them... please show them off not just on the fashion side, but on the functionality side! Give us all the info please. :)

Thanks crazygringo. To answer your questions: - We have made an MVP, and it works. - While the speaker doesn't go into the earcanal, it hovers over it. - It is private. Much like holding your phone to your ear while speaking. - The part that swaps out is the audiomodule. - The battery life isn't that great for the MVP; but we hope to improve it with our production model.

Battery life and battery weight are my two big concerns. Otherwise I think this has potential to be an absolute blockbuster. Especially if you can produce a whole line of unique designs.

Tootie, while the battery life is short of AirPods, it is at par with many other earbuds. Since our module is independent of the earrings, we do plan to offer many styles of earrings. That's part of our business model: that the same customer will buy multiple earrings per module. About the weight: that was our big concern as well. But we did make a few that are lighter than some standard dangler style earrings.

Great work! First person I showed your site to said "Why didn't I think of that?!", which is always a great sign.

If you can compete with or beat most other earphones for battery time, you're already set. Unless you can identify some low hanging fruit, I wouldn't invest much more time into power management because getting Apple-like power management without degrading the connection and user experience is really hard. The two work against each other unless you've got the resources to run large tests to compare changes and perturb towards a solution.

I'd recommend focusing on sourcing. The manufacturers who make cells for Apple and auto manufacturers bin their output just like other silicon fabs and only give Apple/automotive customers the best cells (selling the rest to less discerning clients making consumer electronics, ecigs, etc.). On the extreme, I've seen batches of 18650s from the same manufacturer vary from 2Ah to 3.5Ah depending on what quality of Samsung cells they got. You could probably eek out 10-30% more life that way, but it's hard to predict the final outcome during R&D.

Binning could be done too. Selling a normal and a pro version, with the pro one receiving the better batteries they got from their supplier

What does binning mean in this context?

It refers to manufacturing a product and then separating it into tiers based on how well the process went. It's like how 16 GB MicroSD cards are just failed 32 GB cards, they don't set out to manufacture multiple sizes.

Did not know that!

Thanks tpetry. I wasn't familiar with binning.

Thank you, Akiselev! And that's exactly where we are: trying to figure out sourcing.

Perhaps you could integrate the battery into the earring part so while you're wearing one pair you can hot-swap to a fully charged pair. I like the concept though, very interesting!

It's an idea we considered seriously. But ultimately we decided that we wanted our customers to have the option of throwing away the module when it got outdated, but be able to hang on to the jewelry especially if they buy a precious metal version.

Well, hopefully they will recycle the batteries but it's a good point!

Have you spent much time looking at hearing aid designs?

I think you'll find a lot of embodied wisdom on how to discreetly route audio into the ear canal.

One of the design features that we wanted to include in our main embodiment was: OPEN-EAR audio. Having something sitting inside the ear all day did not appeal to us; which is why we went with this design. There are a number of ways to disguise an in-canal hearable, but the "in-canal" option was something we wanted to avoid for all-day wear.

OPEN-EAR audio doesn't work in crowded cities, where you will find most of your demand.

If it's just podcasts or notifications it works fine 99% of the time. It's really just when the subway is pulling in, or an ambulance is going by, that you won't be able to hear. But as long as the button on the earring works as pause/play, it seems fine.

True. There are situations where open-ear is not a great solution. But it works well for most of our use cases.

(And apologies for the all caps open-ear)

I dont understand why would anyone wear this. It is less annoying regarding look than Apple earphones (that look like in-ear cigarette, I am still unable to get used to someone wearing them). I cant remember when it was last time I have seen someone wearing such a large piece of earrings - except maybe some old lady.

Is this just a prototype and you can make them smaller? Probably not as you need that part over the ear channel to hide the transparent tube, like with hearing aid, right?

If you live in any city where people have a sense of style; London, Tokyo, Paris, you'll find a plenty of people wearing "such large [...] earrings".

Yes it's somewhat of a niche market; but if done right, it can work. If they're selling them with precious gems/metals they wouldn't even need a huge market to be viable.

Imagine if they designed the audio-module so you can slip it out of the earring and into an in-ear device/holder for in-ear use a la AirPods, then on your casual days you don't need the fancy jewellery.

We do need the earrings to be reasonably large if they are to cover the battery, the circuit board, and the speaker. HOWEVER, the module can be worn with stud earrings (in which case the module will show but they still have many advantages over earbuds.)

Check out the PDF of the patent for what look like all the details on how it works: https://patents.google.com/patent/WO2017049261A1/en

Our production model uses a removable audio module. So the earrings can be worn with or without the audio.

They do sit in the ear like a low-profile earbud. You can kind of tell from some of the photos (but the video makes it more obvious) that these aren't using the pierced hole of the model's ear. They're sitting on the ear canal opening. The video also shows some of the interaction similar to an airpod tap.

edit: Yea, I assumed wrong as several commenters pointed out.

Are you sure? To me in the video it definitely seems like they are using an actual piercing, @ 1:05 you can see it swing away from her ear


In the pdf link above it states

> "Ear Jewelry with Wireless Audio Device" provides a headset apparatus in which the audio device extends through the piercing in the wearer's ear, with the signal path passing through the piercing of the ear itself from a wireless communications device at the first end to the sound production unit at the opposite end.

At 1:10 you can see someone attaching the backing to the earring

I don't think that's accurate. Looking at the patent application (courtesy of klyrs below, https://patents.google.com/patent/WO2017049261A1/en), it is indeed an earring that fits into a person's pierced ears. The speaker reaches up to and maybe into the ear canal, but unliked bud earphones, they are not held in place by the speaker.

In the linked pdf, see pages 1, 37, 38, 39 and 41 for diagrams. In the background, they also say "a headset apparatus in which the audio device extends through the piercing in the wearer's ear."

Scott_s, that's right. We use the piercing of the ear. But we are also working on a clip-on version for those who don't have pierced ears. Also, as you said, the speaker reaches unto the ear canal (which helps support the speaker somewhat as well.)

You might consider variants that use a conch piercing or a stretched earlobe piercing instead - I'm pretty sure, among the earring wearers of the affluent world, far more have stretched earlobes than have unpierced earlobes, and probably also more have conch piercings.

Conch piercing will likely be an easy adaptation, but the stretched earlobe variant sounds daunting. An interesting design challenge for sure.

There's a few applications for this in places where you want to inconspicuously listen to music without appearing rude (having headphones in can be pretty damn rude).

But I feel like where this can really shine is hearing aids. These would sell like hotcakes with about 50% of the population.

Hearing aids nowadays generally just don't look too great. Which is why they tend to go the camouflage route instead.

Making them look pretty could go a long way.

Honestly, most people whose hearing losses are mild enough that vanity outweighs sheer need in their decision making have hearing losses that can be helped with a hearing aid that fits completely within the ear canal. These are effectively invisible (it takes a trained eye to spot them), even many hearing aids that fit behind the ear are now small enough with a thin enough wire leading into the ear canal that they are quite often simply missed by most people.

The real issue is cost. The cost issue persists despite of attempts to address cost concerns by granting people 30-day trials with full refunds if they decide to return the hearing aids, i.e. decide that the cost is not worth it. Convincing people to drop four figures on something that, by virtue of making the free and independent decision to purchase it, labels them as somebody with a disability is a hard sell. Able-bodied people don't want to give themselves the "disability" label. That's true regardless of how stylish the hearing aid is.

The situation won't change until there is greater media representation of people open with their hearing loss, living full and capable lives, to change the perception of a hearing aid to be less like a walking cane and more like vision glasses.

The other way hearing aids will become widely acceptable is by the normalisation of wearing them by everyone.

Which is already happening. The hardware in an Airpod is effectively the same as that in a hearing aid. Wearing an Airpod isn't a sign of a disability, with all the stigma that comes attached to that.

Something like these earrings blur the line even more between hearing aid and headphone. You could actually imagine wearing it all the time (including during conversations) without appearing rude - a big problem with just wearing earbuds.

The only thing missing is the software to do local DSP and amplification. It's almost certainly possible - bluetooth headphones have all the required components - but the manufacturers aren't writing the software to amplify ambient noise directly. Either because they don't believe the market is there or because they don't want to venture into the "medical devices" category that hearing aids land in, with all the added R&D expense that entails.

You are absolutely right. The distinction between hearing aids and hearables is blurring. We would definitely like to be in that space down the road.

An "easy" solution then is for hearing aids to look like earbuds; that would normalize hearing aid; but then if you have to spend $5K on them, do you really want them to look like everyday earbuds? Quandary!

Not exactly, because it's less socially acceptable to wear AirPods in meetings and other group conversation settings, especially if people think that you're wearing them because you're actually hearing something from them. Many / most people put away their AirPods when they're in such settings, but it's exactly in those settings when people with hearing loss need their hearing aids the most.

Yes, I agree. We made our SmartEarrings™ for situations where AirPods and earbuds are not socially acceptable. And yet, in discussing hearing aids, I forgot that AirPods-as-hearing aids won't work precisely for that reason: the social cost of wearing hearables in meetings.

Hearing aids that don't look like hearing aids sounds like a great idea. Almost too obvious (only now you've said it, of course!) - I wonder if any companies already do anything along these lines?

You can barely spot the good ones.

Its actually a surprise to see one these days, they're that good.

They simply put them inside the ear canal.

We are looking into that as well as other wellness type applications.

Do you know if AirPods Pro could be used as hearing aids? I know nothing about hearing disabilities, but this sounds like a good idea.

I don't know what their capabilities are. There's a wide spectrum of hearing disabilities that need different solutions.

What you'll read below comes from second-hand experience because my dad lost his hearing in one ear after an operation.

Hearing aids aren't that expensive because of the hardware. In fact they're quite cheap to produce and because how fragile their camouflage design makes them they tend to break all the time and generally get replaced for free for life. Everything else is what makes them expensive.

Consider a hearing disability like my dad has. Complete loss of hearing in one ear after the surgical removal of a tumor on his hearing nerve (acoustic neuroma, luckily no other complications besides this expected outcome - it being pretty much brain surgery), and his other ear isn't too great either.

He spent a lot of time trying out various hearing aids for one week each while an expert guided him through the process and configured each to his needs. Because he has trouble hearing sounds that come from his deaf side he wants those transmitted to his other ear.

There is some audio processing tricks that can be applied here which will make it easier for you to gauge which side the sounds are coming from, filter out noise, amplify the voice of people you're facing etc.

The whole process of adjustments to the hearing aids and trying out different ones took 2-3 months of sometimes bi-weekly trips to the specialist.

Nowadays when a hearing aid breaks (happens from time to time, they're not very sturdy) he can go back to the specialist and walk out with a replacement already configured for him.

This is what you're paying for with the 0k-10k euro price tag (your insurance should cover the first x000 euros). The whole support experience around the hearing aids, not the aids themselves.

Can't really get that with AirPods or whatever.

There is a twitter group around #hearables and they agree that AirPods are already a hearing aid substitute for mild hearing issues.

Some reasons why we made these: 1. Earbuds are easy to lose for two reasons: they are not attached to your ear and they spend a lot of time in your pockets or messenger bag or purse. Our earrings are at your ears, and attached to your earlobes (albeit loosely!) 2. Earbuds/Airpods are a social faux pas in many situations: meetings for instance. Earrings, even statement earrings, are usually acceptable everywhere. 3. Earbuds/Airpods, however cool they may be, would look wrong with a party outfit when you still want to be connected, and be handsfree. An extreme example would be the Met Gala or a Red Carpet event. For us non-celebs, a dance party. 4. Many of us don't like the idea of putting anything inside the ear. It's uncomfortable. And the "lint" that sticks to the bud is just gross. Our earrings solve that problem. 5. Earbuds can be dangerous by blocking all sound. Transparent mode is a solution. Open-ear (like our earrings) is a more natural solution.

Ultimately, there are specific use cases for our earrings, but even though they are specific, they are not at all uncommon.

Nice hack. Good company name hack, too

Thanks coolgeek :)


To me, these are uncanny. They look like earrings, except earrings just don't cover any part of the ear canal like that. I don't think I've ever seen that before.

I expect if I saw them in the wild, I'd spend a lot of time trying not to stare at them, trying to figure out what's up with the weird earrings.

Maybe I'd get used to it? They don't look bad just... yeah, uncanny.

Samatman, we've had at least a few people tell us that. But fashion earrings do also sometimes go all the way upto the ear canal. Anyway, a world that accepts the look of AirPods should be fine with "high-reaching" earrings :)

If anything, it will 'get people talking'.

I suspect the most powerful thing you could do, is end up with someone commenting in the media 'What's she wearing?'

Problem is, if that happens? Now you'll have 1M orders overnight. A good, if stressful problem to have.

That'd be a good problem to have :)

Best of luck to you! This is my impression.

Given the size of these, my initial thought was that these were containers that could hold a couple of different types of ear buds. Having "stylish earring" containers that could hold the google earbuds, for example, would let you swap out various earring styles, and probably cost a fair bit less. That said, the 'integration' - giving access to buttons or whatnot - might be trickier.

All that said, this looks like a good idea, and you've executed. Good job!

AND... "Our audio module is interchangeable between earrings, so you can match your look to the occasion!" That didn't seem to catch my eye up front, but it's there.

Our modules work just as well with tiny ear studs. BUT then you see the module. Which is still fine because here was one of the big drivers for making this: - earrings are at the ear all day. Unlike AirPods and other earphones. So you don't have to reach for them when you need them. - even in transparency mode, not all of us like the idea of something blocking our ear canal. - Smart Assistants are getting powerful, but most of us don't use them anywhere close to their capability because we don't have our AirPods handy all the time, which means we have gotten into the habit of "Siri, what's the stock price of Apple?"

Looking forward to seeing folks talking to their earrings, walls, wrists, speakers, showerheads, kitchen appliances as if the phone wasn’t enough of an intrusion in our lives. Im certain it’s a passing thing.

The earrings look great, one can’t even tell they’re borg. The only problem that I see is that they won’t be kept for as long as regular earrings, a generation or two and hop in the landfill. The same is true for a lot of technology things nowadays. Any idea how to change the trend and make things more lasting?

Since the earrings are interchangeable, and can be worn without the module, someone who buys a pair in gold (and we have that too) would keep it for generations! (Granted the module will end up in the landfill though.)

Thats great news. Hope to see some technology that works with existing earrings and is removable/upgradeable so less goes to waste on next gen

Microphone in a necklace or choker? Sounds good.

Here is an early prototype. This should help you see how we approached the issue. This prototype, btw, weighs nothing! It was an encouraging start.

The best part was our model's reaction. When the earring was done pairing, it spoke in her ear, and she shrieked in delight :) That was unexpected validation.


I feel like the value prop would be better if they looked good. I feel like for the purpose of signalling status with ear-accessories Airpods Pro are gonna do a better job these days. It's a neat idea, I maybe you could do something with an industrial or similar piercing and take advantage of vibrating the actual cartilage of the ear? Maybe I just have bad taste but I wouldn't wear these, I hope there's leeway in the design to make something more attractive.

"signalling status with ear-accessories Airpods Pro are gonna do a better job these days."

Excellent point, one doesn't need an earphone that looks like traditional jewellery if the earphone is already fulfilling the purpose of traditional jewellery.

While status signaling is certainly a part of the purpose of jewelry, it also serves aesthetic purposes that earphones generally completely fail at. Those Airpods don't match your necklace, or harmonize with the green accents in the pattern of your skirt, or with the blue of your eyes.

Earrings can also signal higher status than Airpods; any middle-class schlub can spend $250 on earbuds. That pales next to the numbers that earrings made from precious metals and gems can quietly whisper to anyone who notices them.

Can people tell the difference between expensive "real" jewelry and less expensive fake jewelry (not the $10 fakes, but the more expensive fake stuff)?

probably most people can't. But historically and still today among Arabs, a women's jewelry is one of the few things she absolutely owns. In that way, gold jewelry serves as insurance against divorce and other stuff like that.

egypturnash, "quietly whisper"! We almost named our earrings whisperings.

That portmanteau is so so close to working and yet so far, no matter what gyrations you go through! Must’ve been frustrating.

Jewelry isn't always for signaling status. Some people appreciate the art and craftsmanship of it.

"I'm the type that appreciates art and craftsmanship" is signalling.

I have paintings hanging in my house, in rooms that literally nobody will ever see. But I enjoy having them there. Is that practical? No. Is it signaling? Also no. But I enjoy them for whatever inexplicable reason.

Not everybody chooses what they wear with other people's opinions in mind. Some people might find this incomprehensible, but I'm not sure how to convince them otherwise.

Now that you've told us all, job done!

Sorry, I couldn't resist. In fact I admire and agree with what you said.

Yes, I will go take them down now :)

Then you are left as I am, a house with no paintings, posters, wall decorations of any kind! All such things are clutter to me, and in fact, I even reject re-painting the walls.

I fear that I will notice the room is smaller, after that coating of paint.

I'm worried that now I'm signalling, that I'm not signalling, which is signalling now. Maybe.

So I support you, fellow non-signalling, and non-non-signalling kin! Yes, you can have paintings, just because you like them.

(Please don't tell me that I'm signalling by non-non-signalling!)

A signal does not require conscious intent. What you choose to wear says something about you whether you intend to or not.

I don't think it usually is. It's not like earrings are sold exclusively at jewellery stores. You can find them at drug stores, grocery stores, gas stations, random street vendors, and all sorts of other places. You can easily buy earrings for less than $10, and less than $5, too.

That's also true with lots of other fashion accessories.

It's definitely true with headphones as well. Aesthetics were an enormous part of the Beats brand, and a bunch of other headphone companies. If aesthetics weren't important, you'd see more people walking around with monoprice headphones.

Assuming that whoever bought it did think / say that sentence to begin with. A lot of the time the purchase is driven by the desire to find self-actualization, to borrow from Maslow. Even if it's driven by a need for esteem, who's to say that's not a worthwhile goal?

@baxter001, good point. But we don't see our earrings as an alternative to AirPods. We see them as different-occasion hearables. At parties, or meetings or any situation where AirPods would not only look incongruous but be a social faux pas as well.

Errantspark, yes, of course. The earrings can be made in a number of different sizes, shapes, and price points. Which is why we made our module removable: several earrings will work with the same module. We can have several different styles to appeal to different tastes.

> something with an industrial or similar piercing...

Although Baby Boomers are horrified by the style, it is acceptable these days to have large 'plugs' worn in the ears lobes with them being nothing more than valueless plastic.

If you could have built in headphones then there would be a good reason to stretch one's ears and add industrial barbells.

The stretched ears people that are around today will be needing hearing aids one day. This might be decades away, and they might not present a huge market, however, there is plenty of time to develop some hearing aids just for them.

A couple of years ago, I met a startup in Munich which did exactly the same and had a working prototype. Their product landing page is still online [0], I never heard of them since.

[0]: https://www.nova-audio.com/

Are you sure they had a working prototype? I don't see how they could fit a circuit board and a battery and everything else in that form factor. Also the images don't look like product images.

Looks very cool.

Can you possibly make the dangling part swappable so that you have amazing combinations of mix and match possibilities. Somewhat like the Apple Watch.

All day wearing comfort is another factor I'd focus on.

This opens up a whole new market - you could go bananas with the materials and options. Gold, precious stones and what not. Kudos !

deepGem, the earrings are swappable!

I'm sure the earring wearers would appreciate this but the way their shop is handled screams "If you have to ask, you can't afford it".

Also, I hope the actual BT headphone part is made by someone who knows what they're doing, or they'll be more trouble than they're worth.

Yikes. I didn't realize that's how it comes across. We have version that are cost a lots less than a pair of AirPods, and the customer gets an earring plus an audio module. We are doing invite only because ours is still an MVP, and we are only doing short production runs.

Don't worry - I buy a lot of new developing tech designed for women and I didn't think that at all. I thought, oh great I can afford to buy a few options!

One question not answered here, do you need your ears pierced?

Unfortunately, that's a yes for our current version. They are for pierced ears. We do have test versions for clip-ons but they are still a few iterations away from being ready.

Well it's jewelry and there's a lot of expensive (not always justified) stuff that's only sold in cult format. As in you have to be a cult member to buy.

It's only logical :)

But then I'm not the potential customer, the missus may be and I didn't ask her opinion yet.

Update: I asked the missus. At first she said "WANT".

When I told her you have to join the club to order the "WANT" changed to "I don't need, thanks" :)

Please tell her thank you for the enthusiastic want and that it's not a club; it's a list so we can send out an announcement as soon as we open the shop next.

You might want to let your customers know that explicitly on the Store page.

Nonetheless, fantastic idea and good work.

Thanks spdebbarma!

Neat idea. But I would make it clear on the shop page that the product isn't ready.

We have an mvp, and we have been selling the earrings in batches.

I love this idea!

I'd miss all of my earrings terribly though :( Maybe someday the components could be small enough that a cute cuff would be possible.

Our earrings make a statement in size as well as literally :)

WThe audio module can be worn with tiny stud earrings, but then the audio module shows. It still retains many of its advantages, except the tech is obvious in that case.

Great idea and great start. I expect the "They don't look as good as Airpods" comments here to rank very highly in bad Show HN takes in the future.


Here's the thing, Apple, for better or for worse, dictates what looks good and what doesn't. These are clearly a technical downgrade from AirPods, but I'd also argue these are a fashion / status downgrade as well.

To me, this is the kind of thing you'd see in a kid's spy kit toy. It's tacky, and in my opinion, destined to fail hard - if they even make it to market.

You might want to correct this: In the bottom picture on the home page, the model is wearing her watch upside down. [0]

[0] https://cdn.shopify.com/s/files/1/0250/9396/3866/files/Pink_...

Eep! Good catch, thank you :)

Aurum197 - Mrs. Gregordv has been looking for this since 1999. We've been waiting for someone to make BT headsets that can be real jewelry for semiformal affairs. We figured someone would make a bluetooth version of Elektra King's ear cuff (https://ibb.co/xJbkQs8), and make an absolute mint. The market has been slow to catch on.

While I'm sure you have some good design acumen, I'm with others in making sure that the visible part is an easy-to-integrate standard so you're not a blocker on the fashion side. I'll happily pay a premium price for the BT side of it, but you're not going to be able to produce enough variety to suit everybody's tastes. If I can have my jeweler create custom fittings, then I can make them whatever I want.

Gregordv, by "the visible part", you mean the earring, right? Aside from the size constraint (driven by the size of the battery and the height of the speaker,) the number of earring styles is not an issue (since the module is detachable.) Does that address what you were saying or did I completely miss what you were saying? Our plan is to introduce several styles on an ongoing basis much like any fashion brand. These earrings can be worn with our without the module.

Yes, I did mean the earring.

But - the missus is fond of wearing white gold, gold filigree, maybe some earrings with sapphires. I don't expect that she's necessarily in the initial market you'll be addressing.

While I can imagine you'll have a variety of styles, you won't be able to produce enough styles to match the breadth of the market. It would be a shame if your growth were capped by how many axes of preference you could address with your limited resources. You definitely want enough to bootstrap the market (and you mentioned that part of your business plan was to be able to sell additional earrings to repeat customers), but I suspect the long game is in creating and licensing the standards for mating the active components and the earrings. Other companies may be taking part of the pie, but as long as it keeps growing exponentially, there's plenty for everyone.

I see one side discussing the wonders of a new product, the other discussing how they'd love to use it in their own way.

Why not keep it simple, to get the core point addressed?

One side:

"Can I make my own earrings and use it with this module"

Other side:

"Yes or no"

Adding additionals means the question, or answer, becomes less clear.

Yes, you can make your own earrings and wear with this module! (Though our earrings have a feature on the reverse side that make them a slightly better option.)

This looks really good! Since these don't plug into the ear canal, they won't muffle the ambient sounds right? I get scolded on the reg for not responding to (physical) calls when wearing my earphones. Do you have any plans for something on men's fashion side too?

Muffled sound is one of my pet peeves; so no, ours, don't block out sound. Do you have any thoughts on what men might want in largish earrings?

Great job on this and the idea itself is genius. It does look like the earring uses the piercing itself to stay in place. To be honest visually the top portion does look awkward, but I am sure it's just a matter of getting used to the look.

Nonetheless, great job and goodluck!

Thanks Ptrulli. We do have designs where the speaker part doesn't stick out. Is there a way to share an image?

On here, no I don't think so. But for what it's worth I believe you.

These are awesome! I used to work in call centers and have suggestions for you on audio quality and also design earrings on the side for fun and whimsy. Will send you an email re: partnering/ideas.

We did think of call centers as potential customers! Happy to hear from you about audio quality, etc!

Great idea. Although did you consider making classier looking earbuds?

Earbuds are still earbuds. And everyone's trying to one-up each other in that space. Anyway, we were trying to make an alternative for those occasions when an earbud would be a social no-no.

This is a great concept and approach! The need is definitely there, but the devil will be in the implementation details. Good luck!

Thanks jrexilius!

Great concept, I don't wear earrings but it would definitely want to try them if I did (in fact I would like to try them anyway :) )

Looks a lot better then Apple's version (even for men, maybe)

Thanks vaccinator!

What software runs on these? Is it open source?

For our mvp we just went with the standard firmware.

that makes me remember about my favorite manga, Meitantei Conan (Case Closed) by Gosho Aoyama. it's now become closer to the reality: https://www.detectiveconanworld.com/wiki/Earring_Cellphone

There was also an Alistair Reynolds book in which the protagonist wears earrings that are earphones. I read that after I started working on my idea.

Do you have any plans to let affiliates sell these? I would love to offer this product to my audience.

Ljidak, can you tell me more? Who's your audience?

I think this is a great idea. But why just aim this as women? There are a lot of 'out there' earring designs you could consider that might make your product both technically simpler and more gender neutral.

That was my first thought as well. But it might be actually reasonable. They have to start somewhere.

If they’ll deliver, and sell enough of these, and unless they’ll be acquired by Apple and shut down, pretty sure we’ll see gender neutral models to follow.

Yes :)

I am intrigued about "technically simpler." Can you elaborate?

So - am way out of my depth here and I agree with the comment above - but I had imagined, given the fashion aspect you could consider something similar to the ear cuff design e.g: http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-PO5tT-NZ-zI/UYnN0LqO7_I/AAAAAAAABy... .. as worn in many asian countries. I imagine more of the design could be aesthetic, it could allow you to place the microphone closer to the ear canal (and potentially hide components behind the ear?)addressing some of the other comments about sound quality. - very happy to be wrong about all of the above :) - just some thoughts.

Thanks MrDrDr, that's a pretty edgy design! Our first attempt was an Octopus, holding on to the ear with its tentacles! But here's the problem with the spider web design: if you put a circuit board + battery front and center, sticking forward, it looks like a gigantic tumor on the ear. There's no way to avoid that. Which is why we focused on designs that hid the board behind the earring. We also wanted the earrings to be swappable (because I don't see most women wanting to wear the same look every day.) Our challenges were: hiding the circuit board, positioning the speaker near the canal, and allowing swappable looks. We spent months just figuring out how to solve these design issues.

What about the audio quality?

Depends on the use case. For instance, it is just barely ok for music but I honestly find most earbuds inadequate when it comes to listening to music. For phone calls, podcasts, etc (basically spoken word) which is what we designed our earrings for, the audio quality is just fine. Keep in mind that this is just an MVP. We will improve the sound quality as we make progress.

Got it, thanks

I have a cheesy tagline for you:

"Are these earphones or earrings? Yes!"

We have used it in our insta :) More than once. Great minds &c &c

damn that’s cool i would definitely invest in your company unfortunately i don’t have a significant other to buy these for otherwise i definitely would

Thank you :)

It seems like some modularity would go a long ways here.

Perhaps we need a standard mechanical connection so that jewelry can be made to attach to any brand of ear pod.

There are some interesting gadgets out there that anchor the Airpod to the ear. But the trouble with One Size Fits All solutions is that often One Size Fits No one. Especially in the case of jewelry, it is very easy to end up making something gimmicky. Still, I do agree with what you are saying: perhaps.

Looks like a perfect Christmas/birthday present.

Reminds me of what the Bajorans wore on Deep Space 9.

Ah, the lovely Kira! Theirs was all chains though, no?

It would be cool to see a diagram of of they work.

Did you mean this, millzlane? https://youtu.be/aAUIfNSVauY

Think of them as standard earbuds in a form factor that makes them compatible with earrings.

What about men? :)

We spent this wonderful afternoon with a team from one of the top audio companies in the world. Their team lead, a man in his 40s, happily wore our earring! It was our teal statement earring which is very unisex.

Are you assuming men can’t wear earrings?

It’s quite common. Many men wear plug earrings. It’s true, hanging earrings are rare for men. When i was a teenager I was wearing one in my left year. Looking back it makes me cringe, I dont know why.

That was the time to experiment! I am sure you are glad you took the fashion risk. Who are we without our stories and adventures!

I've been in meetings where people have been upset ; our product only targets 1/2 the planet, how can we convince the other sex to wear/use it?

If you break the (mild for some) earring stigma, and even further the dangling earring fashion stigma for men, you'd be making history.

And a tech product might just do that.

I have had my ears pierced and would happily re-pierce them for the right wearable, but their current designs absolutely would look clownish twinned with most masculine outfits.

File patent for "idea" so nobody can steal it... Am I the only one who feels this is just wrong?

Well, you can't file patents for ideas. You have to show how they work.

Man there’s a lot of mansplaining going on in this thread. Good work! This is really cool!

Thanks Jmarchello!

Are they earrings that make sound like earbuds, or are they earbuds with earrings glued on?

They are earrings but no gluing! quelle horreur :) The audio module is separate from the earring but is supported by it.

Earbuds with earrings attached. You can kind of guess it from the pictures and videos - it's clearest at the 1:10 minute mark.

Do you have a patent number?

I searched for "peripherii" and found:


Nice job!

Thanks worldmerge

So when using these you would have to take your earrings off when talking to someone ?

This is such a great idea! I’ll definitely be interested when they come out.

> Whether you are at a picnic, a party or a meeting, your SmartEarrings™ will make sure you don't miss a call or a notification.

Sounds terrifying.

Ah, ok, "provided you don't want to miss them" :) It mirrors your phone settings.

The woman in the demo video (not the narrator) uses upspeak in every single utterance, and I found it pretty offputting.

That’s the only way Siri understands me, so I didn’t even notice.

ebg13, I hadn't noticed, but will pay attention to that the next time we record :)

This is an ad. Why is it at top of HN?

Show HN is allways a kind of an ad. And HN is also about startups. It's a cool idea, seems nobody did think about it before and is a kind of cool. So I think to be almost on top of HN is totaly OK for this.

But no one has managed to execute it like we did.

This remains to be seen. Good luck!

_trampeltier, thank you! We are genuinely looking for feedback! Anyway, this would be the wrong place for an ad (very few women?)

unnouinceput, what makes you say this is an ad? How is it different from others showing what they have made?

Simple. No inner descriptions like a cool tech would do. I get that ShowHN is always about bragging something but in this case it's just a pretty woman there showing pictures of her wearing earrings that have tech inside.

The difference between a pure ad and a cool showing is that the first one shows the entire face of the woman to trigger psychological buying - a technique that works on both sexes. A cool bragging would've shown only the ear, no pretty face.

Hence, it's a shameless ad, that should not be atop of HN.

Btw, I posted the url of our first prototype somewhere in the comments.

And you can't discriminate against pretty faces :) Just because our model is good looking doesn't translate to negative points on the the coolness of our product. Not that I am saying it is cool. That's upto the folks on HN to decide. But in sharing something I made, and that I am enthusiastic about, I don't owe anyone some arbitrary level of coolness.

Look, I like a pretty face too. Heck I married a hot redhead and I like to see her wearing jewelry, tech or not. And good for you making to top of HN, hope it translates to good product sales. My problem is not with you, it's with HN crowd that took hook, line and sinker :).

So for you personally I only have congratulations, you managed to game HN. And the amount of downvotes I received for calling it an ad it shows they still continue to chew on your bait.

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