The Israeli company was at CES 2022 showing off its new device that beams ultrasonic audio waves to the listener, where only the listener can clearly tune in and others will only be able to catch 10 percent of whatever is playing at around three feet away.
The N1 seems like it’d be the perfect way to escape into your own little world, especially if you don’t live alone. It also lets you be a considerate roommate because you can turn up the volume on your video game or movie without disturbing others.
Even outside the home, Noveto says the N1 could be used at work so your phone calls and video conferences can stay private in an office setting. And when you’re working out, the N1 makes it so you don’t have to fuss around with wires or even worry about your earbuds popping out while you’re sweating up a storm.
It’s hard to tell how accurate and precise the audio is without trying it in person, but the folks at Tom’s Guide were able to test it and gave it rave reviews. Noveto even put out a microphone check demo using the N1 on their YouTube page.
The next audio frontier — If it sounds like some futuristic sci-fi tech to you, you’re not alone. The company holds more than 46 patents and developed its own software, transducers, and chips to make the N1, but let’s try to understand how it works.
According to Noveto, the N1 will beam ultrasonic audio waves towards you, which will then create two focused pockets of energy just outside your ears. These energy pockets give you 3D spatial sound making the audio sound crystal clear to you, but not to others. Noveto says that the N1 can provide up to 90 percent audio reduction for anyone who’s a meter, or about three feet, away from the device's user. And as I mentioned earlier, others can only hear around 10 percent of whatever you’re playing even when somewhat close by.
The “smart beaming” tech isn’t the only part that makes the N1 work. Noveto also incorporated artificial intelligence into the device, so it can follow your head movements and beam the audio pockets to your ear more accurately. The circular LED display at the center of the N1 is a virtual assistant named HAL (seriously, they named it HAL as an acronym for Heuristic Activity LED), and can respond to gestures and voice commands.
The N1 connects through Bluetooth and Wi-Fi; there’s a USB-C port and a 3.5mm in/out audio jack so that you can connect to a secondary audio device.
Kickstarted — Even before CES 2022, Noveto first announced its futuristic audio device on Kickstarter. The campaign started in February 2021 and has since raised nearly a quarter of a million dollars from 547 backers. Now, Noveto is getting ready to ship out the N1 as early as the first quarter of this year, for $800.