Completely wireless earbuds are everywhere at IFA this year, and so is the voice assistant war. While Google Assistant is busy getting its foothold into many speakers, Alexa is expanding into headphones and earbuds and the latest to join its rank is Bragi's The Dash series.
Both The Dash and the newer The Dash Pro will get a software update in October to Bragi OS 3.1 that will enable Alexa integration. You'll also need to update your Bragi app on Android (or iOS) and link an Amazon account obviously, so that The Dash knows which credentials to use. Once that's done, you can use The Dash's gestures and movement sensors to trigger Alexa, either by a "tap of the cheek" or a "nod of the head." The former seems a little ridiculous and the latter could be falsely triggered during vigorous exercise, so I hope The Dash's sensitivity has been more appropriately tuned for these.
Alexa isn't the first voice assistant accessible from The Dash series though. Since its release, The Dash has been able to trigger OK Google (Android) or Siri (iOS) with a tap and hold on the right earbud. The Alexa integration is an addition to those. However, in all cases you have to use The Dash in Bluetooth mode (and not completely disconnected from your phone) since it's your device's connectivity that's required to make any command work.
Bragi makes The Dash series Amazon Alexa-compatible
Amazon Alexa on The Dash and The Dash Pro marks the first integration for smart ear-based computing and Alexa
BERLIN, Germany (September 1, 2017) –Bragi The Dash and Bragi The Dash Pro are about to get smarter with the help of Alexa.
Bragi, once the largest Kickstarter in European history and the company behind The World’s First Hearable, has made The Dash series (The Dash, The Dash Pro) Alexa-compatible.
This marks a first for Alexa in the “truly wireless” headphone space. It’s also one of the first truly mobile hardware integrations for Amazon’s cloud-based voice service, bringing its capabilities anywhere The Dash will travel where a customer has a network connection.
Amazon Alexa on The Dash will be available starting in October by downloading Bragi OS (BOS) 3.1 at http://update.bragi.com. Bragi users will also need to update the Bragi App and connect an Amazon account in order to take advantage of this new integration. Amazon Alexa on The Dash supports US (United States), UK (United Kingdom) and DE (Germany) languages.
“We have always seen The Dash as an interactive device that improves one’s quality of life. Through Alexa, we are able to take this one step further, bringing smart home, e-commerce and home entertainment examples of how The Dash can be useful,” said Bragi founder Nikolaj Hviid.
“Now customers with The Dash headphones can easily take Alexa with them on the go,” said Jon Kirk, Director Amazon Alexa. “Bragi’s intelligent headphones with Alexa will make it easy for customers to control their smart home, ask for news, and access more than 20,000 skills in the Alexa skills store.”
Bragi products are currently compatible with voice assistants like Apple’s Siri and Google Assistant, but Amazon Alexa brings a new world of possibilities through smart home, shopping, and home entertainment use cases. Munich-based Bragi is one of several German additions to the Alexa family being unveiled at IFA 2017 in Berlin.
Users of Amazon Alexa on The Dash will also be able to access several streaming audio options including their Amazon Music Library, Amazon Prime Music, Audible and TuneIn Radio.
The Dash Pro is more than just a headphone, but an in-ear computer with more than 150 microcomponents, a 32-bit Processor, artificial intelligence powered by The Dash AI and 27 sensors, all in a package about the size of your fingertip. Those sensors help ignite Bragi’s unique Natural User Interface, which enables users to literally turn their body into a remote control. Users will be able to access Alexa with a tap of the cheek or hands free with a nod of the head through the Virtual 4-D menu.
Amazon Alexa integration is available on The Dash, The Dash Pro and The Dash Pro tailored by Starkey, all of which are available at www.bragi.com or through select retailers including Best Buy and Gravis.
Bragi was founded in 2013 and went live a year later on the crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.
With 15,998 backers who contributed over $3.3 million (USD), Bragi has evolved from a promising startup to a market-moving creator of innovative technology, opening the new category of Hearables. This includes more than 150 unique patents in the space. Through relentless innovation and discovery, Bragi wants to transform the world of smart headphones offering freedom of movement, maximum comfort and amazing sound – all while audibly coaching, tracking movement and capturing key biometric data.
For more information about The Headphone, The Dash or Bragi, visit www.bragi.com/press.