Bragi just announced that it will issue a new software update for the Dash wireless earbuds later this month, the flagship feature of which is something called “MyTap.” The idea is that, instead of tapping the touch-sensitive spot on the earbuds, you’ll now be able to tap your cheek to activate your phone’s digital assistant. That’s a pretty big (and also pretty weird!) claim from a company whose product never quite lived up to promises that were made, but users can put it to the test — in beta, of course — when the update drops on November 21st.
The company calls this a “Kinetic User Interface,” and it sounds like a bizarre extension of the the gesture-based macros that were promised way back at CES in 2015, when the company was also coming off its successful Kickstarter campaign. Bragi hasn’t said exactly how the earbuds are recognizing this gesture, or how it will cancel out false positives, or if a slap can also activate Siri (we’ve reached out and will update when they respond). But it’s at the very least a novel approach to making it easier to interact with the earbuds — even after using the Dash for a few weeks I still found myself missing the touch-sensitive spot on the earbuds from time to time.
The update is the third major software update released by Bragi, and it will also supposedly improve the Dash’s heart rate monitoring capabilities, cut down on wind noise when the audio passthrough feature is active, and increase the quality of both phone calls and the overall Bluetooth connection to your phone.
It’s nice to see the company standing by its word to make the Dash a “living” product by keeping up these software updates, even though previous releases were supposed to have improve that Bluetooth connection — which was one of the Dash’s biggest problems to begin with. At this point it seems like Bragi has maxed out the capability of the Bluetooth radios in the Dash, and that prospective customers are better off waiting until Bragi’s new product — the much simpler “Headphone” earbuds — starts shipping later this year to see if the company has found a way around it.