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This Tech Customized Music at Coachella

Kelsey Pommer, Sr. Coordinator, Digital Media Marketing, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)™
Check out what the Doppler Labs team had to say about their products, Coachella and where they are going next.

Wearable technology has revolutionized the consumer tech industry. One Consumer Technology Association (CTA) member, Doppler Labs, is now focusing on “hearables,” wearable tech for your ears. Their new product, Here, allows users to personalize their audio, and they’ve partnered with music festival Coachella to bring attendees a customized listening experience.

Check out what the Doppler Labs team had to say about their products, Coachella and where they are going next.

What is the mission of Doppler Labs and Here?
We started Doppler Labs in 2013 with a mission to create wearable technology that makes computing more immersive and human. Being that hearing is one of our most powerful senses, we felt there should be a way to give people the chance to personalize their senses through technology. 

Ears were an obvious application for us because we’ve already been wearing technology on our ears for nearly 40 years (take the Walkman, for instance), so it’s already a natural habit for most people to put tech on their ears. And, they’re unobtrusive (especially compared to tech on the eyes), which is an important consideration as we think about the social implications for this new category of technology and what it means to truly wear wearable tech.

In the near term, Doppler is focused on "hearables," wearable technology for the ears that allow people to curate — and personalize — their audio environment. Last June, we launched Here Active Listening, the first step toward our long-term vision of putting a computer, speaker and mic in everyone’s ears.


How did Doppler Labs first get started?
We first launched with the DUBS acoustic filters, a pair of advanced tech earplugs that reduce your volume without compromising the overall clarity of sound. Our goal with DUBS was to see whether we could take something that’s seemingly ordinary and also relatively stigmatized (i.e., earplugs) and make them into something cool that people would proudly want to wear.


We were blown away by the success! We ended up selling close to 300,000 DUBS units in the first nine months, so it was clear that we had tapped a nerve with consumers who not only cared about their hearing but also how they perceived sound. Seeing this demand for in-ear technology, we decided to embark on something much more dynamic, and thus, Here Active Listening was born.

You are a CTA member. How does this membership help your business?
We’re so grateful to our partners, like CTA, especially at this early stage in our business. As a CTA startup member, we’re able to get important market research and expert mentoring from industry veterans, all of which has really helped us grow our awareness in the CE community.

Tell us about your exciting partnership for Coachella 2016.
 This is our second year, and we’re so excited to be working with them again.

This year, we gave all Coachella attendees an exclusive opportunity to skip our 75,000-person waitlist and buy Here — which isn’t currently for sale — before Coachella starts, so that they have a chance to try out the product ahead of time and can show up at the festival ready to go.

We’re also creating Here-optimized music stages so that attendees will be able to act as their own personal sound mixer — whether they want to boost the bass, remix a music set or lower the volume if the music's too loud — to make every audio experience perfect, just for them. They’ll be able to completely customize their listening experience at the festival and listen to a live performance exactly the way that they want. You can’t get that level of personalization unless you’re listening to live music through Here.


What’s next for Doppler Labs?
We started shipping Here in late January, with the intention of only producing a limited production run of 10,000 units, and the overwhelming response we’ve gotten from our community has been amazing (and frankly, surprising). We considered Here to be our concept car, but it’s clear, simply based on the demand, that we have tapped a nerve.

Our plan all along has been to use Here to gather data and feedback before we went to mass retail in order to ensure our products really spoke to consumers in an accessible and clear way. This technology has never existed before, so we have to get it really right both from a functionality perspective and a communications perspective.

So right now, we’re focused on getting a better understanding for how people are using Here out there in the world so that we can use their feedback to improve our technology and incorporate new features into future versions of the product. Coachella is the final stage in that testing.

We’re really excited to see how Here evolves, and our goal is to launch a mass consumer product later this year.


Learn more about Doppler Labs and Here Active Listening.

Doppler Labs recently participated in #CTATechWeek, exhibiting at CES on the Hill: