The headphones, branded “Enten,” were developed and built by Cambridge-based Neurable, which CEO Alcaide cofounded in 2017. (The company’s head of partnerships and cofounder Adam Molnar is a Forbes Under 30 alumnus.) The concept behind them stems from Alcaide’s desire to bring brain-computer interfaces into the consumer market, with the first step acting as kind of a Fitbit for your brain, measuring how your day is going.
Over a Zoom call, Ramses Alcaide holds up a pair of premium headphones, the type favored by audiophiles serious about their music. They sell for a premium price, too, he tells me – retailing at $399. But what these headphones have that others don’t are dry electrodes in the ear cushions which, when wearing them over your ears, enables the headphones to read your brain waves.
“You essentially get a receipt of how distractors impact your performance and efficiency throughout the day,” says Alcaide.
A perk from this, he says, is that learning how your brain functions can let you better perform in the future. For example, one of the product’s testers used the device and discovered that she’s much more focused in the morning, and that her productivity would benefit if she took a later lunch. Other insight might include, for example, the benefits of taking a break to recharge.
The Enten headphones are expected to roll out in the Spring of 2022, and the company has launched an Indiegogo page so interested people can pre-order them for the lower price of $199. Alcaide says the company doesn’t need the page to fund the first production line – it’s mostly a means of marketing and gauging interest. According to Pitchbook, the company has raised nearly $14 million in venture funding, with backers including M Ventures, Quest Venture Partners and others.
Once the product rolls out, Alcaide says, the company aims to use the incoming data to help develop more apps and features for the product. For example, the company has been testing a feature using Spotify’s API that would enable you to learn which songs on your Spotify playlist help you focus and which are distractions. Another feature in the works would be to have the headphones set your notifications to Do Not Disturb when your brainwaves show that you’re focused, he says.
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