|Founded||November 2013 in New York City, United States|
|Founders||Noah Kraft (CEO) & Fritz Lanman (chairman)|
|Defunct||December 1, 2017|
Number of employees
Doppler Labs was a San Francisco-based audio technology company, founded in 2013. The company designed and manufactured in-ear computing technology, including earplugs and wireless smart earbuds.
Doppler Labs was co-founded by Noah Kraft and Fritz Lanman. Kraft had previously worked in the entertainment industry, and was employed as a strategic consultant for Google working for John Hanke on a mobile game called Ingress. Kraft also worked for Lyor Cohen during the founding of 300 Entertainment. Lanman was an executive at Microsoft and a prominent angel investor.
Before voice assistants or true wireless technology were prevalent, Doppler Labs envisioned that computing would move onto the body and into the ear and that voice would become a more primary interface for how humans interact with technology. With Apple's removal of the headphone jack, the launch of the AirPods, and the prevalence of Alexa, the smart earbud category that Doppler helped create was expected to become a $40 billion industry by 2020.
In July 2015, Doppler raised $17 million in series B funding bringing the company's total funding to over $50 million. The round was led by The Chernin Group, Wildcat Capital Management, and Acequia Capital and included luminary investors like Henry Kravis, David Geffen, Blake Krikorian, Dan Gilbert, David Bonderman and Barry Sternlicht.
Doppler Labs first product was DUBS Acoustic Filters, high-tech ear plugs designed that used a proprietary 17-piece physical acoustic filter system to reduce the sound pressure at different frequencies while maintaining acoustical fidelity. In July 2016, Doppler Labs Labs launched Here Active Listening at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and in 2017 launched its flagship product Here One, a pair of wireless smart earbuds  that allowed users to selectively filter ambient sound, stream music, and amplify speech. It could also be used to take phone calls and selectively filter certain sounds, such as background noise. Here One was called the world's first in-ear computer.
On November 1, 2017, Doppler Labs announced that the company would be winding down operations, and officially closed on December 1. The company cited problems raising additional Series C funding as the reason for the company shutting down. Wired wrote that the company unsuccessfully explored options to stay afloat including partnership, investment, and acquisition from companies such as Microsoft, Apple, Google, Amazon, and Facebook. It was preparing to launch its next product, Here Two, in 2018.
In addition to its pre-existing partnerships with the Tao Group, Coachella, Bonnaroo and Outside Lands, in November 2016, Doppler Labs announced seven new partnerships with The New York Philharmonic, the Cleveland Cavaliers, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, JetBlue, Gimlet Media, MADE Fashion and The New York Mets to bring Here One technology to sporting events, museums, concert halls, and other live environments.
In December 2016, they also partnered with the Global Citizen Festival to launch #HereTogether, a movement aimed at bringing greater global awareness around efforts to prevent hearing loss and to promote innovation in hearing accessibility. As part of this initiative, Doppler Labs announced its Hearing Bill of Rights in April 2017.
Awards and recognition
- Inc. magazine's Game Changing Inventions of 2015
- Time magazine's Best Inventions of 2015
- Fast Company magazine's World's Most Innovative Companies in 2016
- SXSW's Best of Show in 2016
- Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity Gold for Product Design in 2016
- Named among Forbes magazine's Next Billion-Dollar Startups list of 2016
- TechCrunch Crunchies Hardware of the Year Runner-Up Award in 2017
- Gershgorn, Dave. "Doppler Labs wants to put two extra brains in your ears". Quartz. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
- "Noah Kraft". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
- Murphy, Tim. "Prick Up Your Ears". Brown Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 4 October 2017.
- "Prick Up Your Ears". Brown Alumni Magazine. Retrieved 2019-02-10.
- Crook, Jordan. "Fritz Lanman takes CEO role at ClassPass as founder Payal Kadakia steps in as Chairman". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
Lanman is a former Microsofter who has gone on to angel invest in companies like Wish, Pinterest, and Square. He's also the Chairman of the Board on two of his other portfolio companies, Verst and Doppler Labs.
- "Introducing Here One™: The Future Of In-Ear Computing". Here One. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- Statt, Nick (September 7, 2016). "Apple says it took 'courage' to remove the headphone jack on the iPhone 7". The Verge. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- "Apple reinvents the wireless headphone with AirPods". Apple Newsroom. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- Anders, George. "Amazon's Alexa is a bet that in the future we will be talking to our computers". MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- "The Market for Hearable Devices 2016-2020" (PDF). Retrieved 6 November 2017.
- Tilley, Aaron. "Audio Wearable Startup Doppler Labs Raises $17 Million". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
- Crook, Jordan. "Doppler Labs Lands $17 Million In Series B". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
- "Doppler Labs raises $24 million led by The Chernin Group for wireless listening system". VentureBeat. 2016-07-19. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
- Crook, Jordan. "Doppler Labs raises another $24m to put a computer in your ear". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
- Aguilar, Mario. "Dubs Earplugs Don't Look Terrible So You Might Actually Wear Them". Gizmodo. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
- Crook, Jordan. "Meet Dubs, Doppler Labs' Reinvention Of The Lowly Earplug". TechCrunch. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
- "How To Make Coachella Even Trippier: Augmented Reality Earbuds". Fast Company. 2016-04-22. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- Pierce, David. "Doppler's New Earbuds Are Way More Than Just Wireless Headphones". WIRED. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- Dunn, Jeff. "These wireless earbuds are like mini computers for your ears that are as powerful as a 2010 laptop". Business Insider. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- Auerbach, Brad. "Doppler Labs Launches Here One: Not Only a Volume Knob in a Loud World, a Supercomputer in Every Ear". Forbes. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- Dunn, Jeff. "These wireless earbuds transform the sounds around you and preview a future of in-ear computers — here's what they're like". Business Insider. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
- Pierce, David. "The Here One wireless earbuds let you remix reality". Wired. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- "$50 million startup Doppler Labs is suing Bose for allegedly tricking it into sharing its secret sound technology". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- "Startup claims Bose stole its technology". Retrieved 2017-08-17.
- "Consumer Tech Companies Want To Make Hearing Aids Cheaper—And Even Trendy". Fast Company. 2017-07-07. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
- Weinberger, Matt (1 November 2017). "A startup that raised $50 million to make a smarter version of Apple's AirPods has failed and shut down". Business Insider. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
- Feldman, Amy (1 November 2017). "Once A Unicorn-To-Be, Smart-Earbud Startup Doppler Labs To Shut Down". Forbes. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
- Pierce, David. "Inside the Downfall of a Wildly Ambitious Hardware Startup". Wired. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
- Labs, Doppler. "Doppler Labs Announces Partnership with Bonnaroo and Outside Lands Festivals". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
- Dave, Paresh (2014-09-23). "Dubs aims to make earplugs a 'fashion staple' by focusing on design". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
- "Here One earbuds are wireless 'computers for your ears'". USA Today. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
- Crook, Jordan (December 13, 2016). "Doppler Labs launches hearing health campaign as Congress pushes for OTC hearing aids". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
- "Why Global Accessibility Awareness Day Matters". 2017-05-18. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
- "9 Game-Changing Inventions You Missed in 2015". Inc. 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
- "The 25 Best Inventions of 2015". Time. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
- "The Most Innovative Companies of 2016 by Sector: Music". Fast Company. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
- Hernandez, Brian Anthony. "What Has SXSW Become? Lil Wayne, Emerging Artists And Big Brands Describe The Festival's Puzzling State". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
- "Google Scores Product Design Grand Prix at Cannes for Jacquard 'Connected' Jacket". Retrieved 2017-08-18.
- Feldman, Amy. "Next Billion-Dollar Startups 2016". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
- Crook, Jordan. "Meet the companies vying for Hardware of the Year at the Crunchies". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-08-18.