Back in 2017, Bose hit Indiegogo with some earbuds designed to help folks get a good night’s sleep. The formula was later improved, but then the product was discontinued. Now former employees are taking up the restful-sleep torch with a Kickstarter for the Ozlo Sleepbuds.
Instead of closing off the world using its acclaimed noise cancellation technologies, the idea for the Bose Sleepbuds was to generate soothing sounds selected by users via a companion app to mask noises that might otherwise keep them awake.
The original promise of putting an end to sleepless nights attracted nearly 3,000 prototype testers plus more than US$450,000 in Indiegogo funding. The Sleepbuds were made available for general sale in 2018, but subsequent reports of battery issues prompted Bose to discontinue the product and issue refunds.
A new version with an improved app launched in 2020, but Bose closed shop soon after launch and that was apparently that. Until a startup called Ozlo emerged from stealth earlier this month following a Series A funding round that secured $10 million, and announced a new version of Sleepbuds was on the way.
Founded and led by three former Bose employees, Ozlo has acquired the Sleepbuds trademark and licensed sleep-related technologies from Bose. And though the new Sleepbuds rock the same overall look as their Bose predecessors, including the soft silicone wings that keeps them securely in place as the wearer slumbers, they boast some key enhancements.
Users can select from a bunch of sound-masking tracks streamed over to the buds using a paired smartphone running the companion app, but can now also choose other sonic content if that’s preferred – such as ASMR, auidiobooks and music.
The snoozer can opt to listen to the chosen tracks throughout the night, or set a timer to fade them out and make do with the passive isolation offered by the umbrella tips. The setup also includes an alarm function “to wake you peacefully” without disturbing anyone else.
The buds now pack in biometric sensors, allowing the setup to monitor movement and respiration during slumber, and generate insights on the different sleep stages through the app. Additionally, Ozlo engineers have included light, sound and temperature sensors in the smart charging case to help users “develop a holistic understanding of your sleep environment and its impact on rest quality.”
The onboard battery is reckoned good for up to 10 hours per charge, with four full top-ups available from the smart case before it needs plugging in.
The Ozlo Sleepbuds Kickstarter has already blown through its modest funding goal, and pledges currently start at $214 – a saving of 28% on the expected retail price. The usual crowdfunding cautions apply, but if all goes to plan, shipping is estimated to start from November.
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