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50 Cent's SMS Audio is making earphones that listen to your heart

50 Cent's SMS Audio is making earphones that listen to your heart


Embedded Intel technology sends fitness data to phone apps

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Headphones don't care if you're listening to terrible music while exercising, but a new pair from 50 Cent's SMS Audio might judge your workout. The company's just announced BioSport In-Ear, a set of wired earbuds with biometric capabilities to record heart rate using built-in optical sensors. The earbuds draw power from the headphone jack and promise to stay in ears during activity with a "hook" shape, as well as keep sweat and water out with an IPX4 liquid rating.

This particular pair is using technology from Intel. The chipmaker showed off a reference design of the sensors at the Consumer Electronics Show back in January, with the hope that companies would add the technology to their own products, and developers would integrate the data into apps. So far that list only includes RunKeeper, which the two companies say will record heart rate, pace, distance, elevation, and how many calories you've burned.

Only works with one app so far

Smartwatches and fitness bands have included heartbeat tracking for some time now, though adding it to headphones promises to make it available in a wider array of devices. LG and iriverOn both use technology from biometrics company PerformTek in their heart rate and exercise tracking wired headphones. A company called Bragi based out of Germany is also working on a similar pair called the Dash that connects to phones and music players over Bluetooth.

Biosport in-ear (SMS Audio)

SMS Audio president Brian Nohe telegraphed the partnership with a "major technological company" in an interview with The Wall Street Journal last week. Citing sources, Gizmodo correctly claimed the name and partnership with Intel earlier today. SMS Audio hasn't announced a price for the BioSport In-Ears yet, saying only that it will be available on the fourth quarter of this year. The company's Street series, which is also rated for water and sweat but does not include heart monitoring, runs $79.95.