Tech Tidbits: Smart Earphones Receive SXSW Innovation Award

The FreeWavz smart earphones with built-in fitness monitoring were named the winner of the Wearable Tech category at this year’s 18th annual SXSW Interactive Innovation Awards. The wire-free earphones, developed by Melbourne, FL-based FreeWavz, record heart rate and oxygen saturation, measure steps and calories burned, and report distance, duration and speed.

The item was launched on Kickstarter in August 2014 and raised over $300,000, landing it in the top 1% of most-funded projects on the crowd funding site. Kickstarter campaign rewards were scheduled to be shipped in May, and the earphones will be available to consumers for $249.99 in this summer. Freewavz is now accepting pre-orders at www.freewavz.com.

Among the other winners at SXSW were Strati, the World’s First 3-D Printed Car; VocaliD, which creates customized vocal personas; and student project Expressive Wearable, a hat that communicates through movement. Visit :www.sxsw.com for the full list of winners.