May 3, 2016 | By Alec

Remember United Sciences? Way back in 2015, they showcased a revolutionary ear 3D scanning technology at CES, which had been developed with US Navy backing. Capable of perfectly capturing the unique structure of each and every inner ear, this eFit 3D ear scanner promised a way to produce perfect earbuds through 3D printing. Fast forward more than a year, and United Sciences is finally ready to bring that revolutionary solution to the people. Called the Aware, these earbuds not only provide a perfect fit and sound, but they are also packed with biometric sensors to carefully monitor brain and body functions.

What’s more, they are already a huge hit. Their Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign, which launched just a few days ago, has already reached their target goal of $100,000 with ease. At this rate, the Aware could become one of those iconic 3D printed Kickstarter success stories.

The origins of the Aware can be traced to a 3D scanning company run by Karol Hatzilias, who was awarded a US Navy grant to improve hearing protection through custom 3D scanning technology. The exploration of ways to scan small holes in the inner ear with a ring laser eventually led to the development of the eFit 3D ear scanner, which can scan ears in less than a minute. This innovative research came to fruition thanks to a team of opto-mechanical, mechanical, electrical, machine vision, robotic, and computer science engineers and cost more than $20 million. The project was largely funded through license fees and backing from Logitech and GN Store Nord.

After much R&D, United Sciences ended up with a very powerful product and the capacity to manufacture thousands of these very scalable eFit 3D ear scanners. These, in turn, will be used to produce Aware earbuds on location. “We can now take the file from that scan, and 3D print custom headphones that fit your ear perfectly. Next we install custom sensors that we shape to precisely fit the unique measurements and surfaces of your ear,” they say.

So what’s so special about the 3D printed earbuds? For starters, the sound is expected to be fantastic. Thanks to the custom fit, each and every speaker will provide perfect inner ear acoustics, with natural noise cancelling effects taking care of the rest. With 16 GB of internal storage, you can even store music right on the earbuds themselves. The 220mAh battery will provide you with up to six hours of non-stop music, though that battery won’t last as long when combined with other functions.What’s more, the Aware supports gesture controls. Tapping once on the earbud plays or pauses music, and the same will answer a phone call. Double tapping sends calls to voice mail, and can be used to trigger the Aware situational awareness features.

But these earbuds are also packed with sensors to provide users with revolutionary new capabilities. Via Bluetooth connection and a smartphone app, you are given access to a wide range of real-time data. Among the different sensors is an electro-encephalogram (EEG), which will help you track brain waves. It enables you to track, in real time, exactly how focused your brain is on a certain task (with an audible alert warning you to concentrate). Other brain waves, such as those related to stress, are also tracked and displayed in a triangle. Even delta waves – which correlate to sleep – can be recorded to identify causes for restlessness during sleeping.

According to the Aware developers, none of this would have been possible without their custom ear 3D scanning technology. “The optimized fit also maximizes the performance of biosensors and enables us to obtain a significant amount of reliable biometric data, including discrete signals such as brain waves. We can help you continuously and unobtrusively capture brainwave and biometric data through a custom headphone, all while playing, working, sleeping, or listening to your music,” they say. Sam Kellet, the company’s CEO, even believes it will enable them to further our understanding of the brain. “We should unlock a lot of new secrets about the brain once we get consumers in the wild tracking their day-to-day activities,” Kellett said.

If you’re interested in getting your hands on these revolutionary 3D printed Aware earbuds you can back their Kickstarter campaignwhich will end on May 30, 2016. The 3Dscanning will take place at special ‘scanning events’ throughout the world, so you might have to travel a bit to get yours fitted. There are also several different versions of the Aware available. For $99, you can get a custom-fitting Aware set without the biometric scanning capacity, while the full set will be available for $249. And as the campaign is already successfully funded, the Aware will definitely be realized.



Posted in 3D Printing Technology



Maybe you also like:


Disgruntled Kickstarter wrote at 2/3/2017 12:45:16 AM:

As far as anyone can tell they have run off with the Kickstarter money without a peep in months. Fraud of a company.

Robin Leech wrote at 5/3/2016 7:37:07 PM:

EEGs aren't meaningless and the device isn't "implausible"; it's just intrusive and unwarranted. There's just no good reason to have widespread use of sensors monitoring your brainwaves etc. For certain applications it might be useful, but if they wind up in a large number of products then it's likely corrupt governments will be pushing to mandate and use them in a police state so they can write you a ticket for being angry or something.

Leave a comment:

Your Name:


Subscribe us to Feeds twitter facebook   

About provides the latest news about 3D printing technology and 3D printers. We are now seven years old and have around 1.5 million unique visitors per month.

News Archive