A couple of weeks ago my partner Eduardo Archanco offered you his analysis of the Dash, a Bragi headset that apparently has all the cards to be the direct competition of the Apple AirPods. They are the proof that, since a few months ago, the headphones are proving to evolve towards completely eliminating the cables .
This manufacturer appeared out of nowhere, but with two products it is becoming a very serial alternative to consider. And taking advantage of his visit to the Mobile World Congress, we had the opportunity to talk to its founder and CEO, Nikolaj Hviid . A native of Denmark, he wanted to tell us some interesting facts about his company.
The audio interface as the direct shortcut to what we want
Originally, Bragi appeared as a company that wanted to manufacture products for hearing impaired users. But he soon saw that he wanted to be able to broaden horizons and manufacture accessories for the general public. His key: put the audio interface above the graphical interface itself .
Nikolaj refers to the audio-based interface as the “discreet” interface, since you can use it while you are focused on other things and redirect your attention to a reaction easily:
Bragi’s CEO makes another point to highlight his headset: when you give a voice command to listen to a song, you don’t care what service is used as long as that song starts playing immediately. You ask for it and there it is . ” If you want to do the same with a graphical interface you have to unlock the iPhone, open the music application, find the song and select it “. Much longer. For Nikolaj, the future is about avoiding all that and witnessing a big change in the way we use services and applications.
Headphones as the next icon of miniaturization
Bragi, so far, he’s off to a very good start. They started with a kickstarter campaign that amassed 3.4 million dollars and have already sold over 100,000 units of their Bragi Dash . Does that mean competition for the AirPods? At a sales level it could be, but Nikolaj thinks that his Dashes with their own storage and sensors that quantify health data are more like a mini-computer than a headset.
The company has other headsets called The Headphone, with no storage and a 6-hour battery, which could be considered that competition from which people can normally deduce. Nikolaj differentiates these simple headphones with the Dash, which is rather all a “hearable” . Some are simple headphones while others are a miniaturized computer in the form of headphones.
Competition and the future
As for the AirPods that Apple has just launched, Nikolaj is clear:
Is there any risk with Bragi’s strategy? We can think of companies like Pebble or Fitbit, with a range of very specific products (smartwatches, sports wristbands) that have not exactly ended well. Bragi is more or less the same: their only products are The Headphone and The Dash.
¿No te gustan los AirPods? Los auriculares Bragi pueden ser una alternativa (más barata)
In this regard, Nikolaj says he has an “obvious” concern as a young company that they are . He claims that many big companies ” have much more muscle put into destroying than we have into building “. And it’s true: a demand from any great technology can mean ruin for any company that is starting up and has ambitions.
Finally, Bragi’s CEO has told me that they are open to offer their platform to third party developers as long as they comply with the Dash’s “extremely efficient” operating system. It takes up a mere few hundred KB , so programming anything for them involves an effort to optimize the code to the maximum.
In any case, Bragi has a firm commitment to wearables to make computers and smartphones easier to use. Depending on how the trends progress, those ” hearables ” will evolve in one way or another, but they will certainly deserve our attention.