Posted in | Motion Sensor

Headset with Embedded Nine-Axis Sensors Tracks Head Movements

Plantronics, a pioneer in wearable technology, was honored last week at the Wearable Tech Expo for ‘Best Application’. Cary Bran, senior director of Innovation and New Ventures at PLT Labs, a group within Plantronics, demonstrated a concept headset with embedded sensors and the ability to track the person’s head movements. The award-winning application was a Google Street View mash-up that allowed an individual anywhere in the world to share their view remotely via Google Street View.

“We are thrilled to be honored at the Wearable Tech Expo with the ‘Best Application’ award. The concept we shared has valuable real world benefits. For example, emergency first responders can benefit real time from daytime images of sites that might be poorly lit or obscured by smoke and fire,” said Cary Bran, senior director of Innovation and New Ventures at PLT Labs. “The objective of PLT Labs is to produce devices that can deliver relevant information about a person’s physical world into applications. The possibilities are limitless and I’m excited to see creativity within the developer community unleashed.”

Plantronics’ demo featured a “concept” version of the Voyager Legend® UC device with a low-latency, nine-axis sensor. The prototype headset tracks head orientation in three dimensions, heading, pitch, and roll – in other words, the X, Y, and Z axes. Plantronics shared two of their own application demos which featured integration with this prototype device.

The first application leveraged an MFI chip for ease of integration with the iOS platform and demonstrated how a wearer could manipulate an avatar on an iPad real time based on their physical head movements. The avatar demonstration and the award winning Google Street View mash-up demonstration both leveraged internal APIs and hardware which will soon be available to developers via PLT Labs.

“Ecosystems of complementary services, apps and devices are essential for a strong brand presence in wearable electronics. Open platform APIs are important for enabling apps and services to integrate data and information with wearable devices,” noted Gartner analyst Angela McIntyre, Research Director, in the report Market Trends: Enter the Wearable Electronics Market With Products for the Quantified Self, published July 1, 2013. Ms. McIntyre was a featured presenter at the Wearable Tech Expo.

TMCnet produced the Wearable Tech Expo and honored Plantronics with a ‘Best Application’ award based on three criteria.

  • Innovative connectivity between app and device
  • Demonstration of insights provided as related to the device (in this case all the motion capabilities of the device are captured)
  • Market capabilities relative to the possibilities of the device as manifested through the device-app relationship

Plantronics has been a wearable tech pioneer for decades – developing and delivering personal audio solutions that are worn by millions to communicate. By making advances in on-board sensor technology and exposed APIs, the company has moved the classic headset beyond audio and transformed it into a wearable device and platform with possibilities only limited by a developer’s imagination. More information, including the SDK, is available via the Plantronics Developer Connection:



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