Doppler Labs

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Doppler Labs
Private
Industry Technology
Founded November 2013 in New York City, United States
Founders Noah Kraft (CEO) & Fritz Lanman (Chairman)
Defunct December 1, 2017
Headquarters San Francisco, United States
Area served
Worldwide
Number of employees
75
Website hereplus.me

Doppler Labs was a San Francisco-based audio technology company. Founded in 2013 in New York City, the company's mission was to make computing more immersive and human.[1] The company designed and manufactured in-ear computing technology, including earplugs and wireless smart earbuds.[2]

History[edit]

Doppler Labs was co-founded by Noah Kraft and Fritz Lanman.[3] Kraft had previously worked in the entertainment industry,[4] while Lanman was an executive at Microsoft and a prominent angel investor.[5]

In July 2015, Doppler raised $17 million in Series B funding bringing the company's total funding to over $50 million.[6][7] 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.[8][9]

Doppler Labs first product was DUBS Acoustic Filters, high-tech ear plugs designed that use a proprietary 17-piece physical acoustic filter system to reduce the sound pressure at different frequencies while maintaining acoustical fidelity.[10][11] In July 2016, Doppler Labs Labs launched Here Active Listening at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival[12] and in 2017 launched its flagship product Here One, a pair of wireless smart earbuds [13] that allow users to selectively filter ambient sound, stream music, and amplify speech. It can also be used to take phone calls and selectively filter certain sounds, such as background noise.[14][15] Here One has been called the world’s first in-ear computer.[16][17]

In March 2017, Doppler Labs sued Bose for trademark infringement of their Here Buds trademark.[18][19]

The company supported the Over-the-Counter (OTC) Hearing Aid Act of 2017,[20] which passed both houses of Congress.[21]

On November 1, 2017, Doppler Labs announced that the company would be winding down operations, and officially closed on December 1.[22] The company cited problems raising additional Series C funding as the reason for the company shutting down.[23] 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.[24]

Products[edit]

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.[25] With Apple’s removal of the headphone jack,[26] the launch of the AirPods,[27] and the prevalence of Alexa,[28] the smart earbud category that Doppler helped create was expected to become a $40 billion industry by 2020.[29]

Here One Schematic Doppler Labs

The company develops and distributes the Here One Wireless Smart Earbuds,[30][31] a pair of wireless 3-in-1 earbuds that combine premium audio streaming, smart noise cancellation, and speech enhancement into a single form factor,[32] as well as DUBS Acoustic Filters high-tech earplug.[33] The company previously developed and released the predecessor to Here One called Here Active Listening,[34] which was originally launched on Kickstarter.[35]

Doppler Labs has announced and demonstrated future product features, including real-time language translation[36] and its “machine hearing” system.[2]

Partners[edit]

In addition to its pre-existing partnerships with the Tao Group, Coachella, Bonnaroo and Outside Lands,[37][38] 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.[39]

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[40] As part of this initiative, Doppler Labs announced its Hearing Bill of Rights in April 2017[41]

Awards and recognitions[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Doppler Labs | Crunchbase". Crunchbase. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  2. ^ a b Gershgorn, Dave. "Doppler Labs wants to put two extra brains in your ears". Quartz. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  3. ^ "Doppler Labs | crunchbase". www.crunchbase.com. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  4. ^ "Noah Kraft". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  5. ^ 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.
  6. ^ Tilley, Aaron. "Audio Wearable Startup Doppler Labs Raises $17 Million". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  7. ^ Crook, Jordan. "Doppler Labs Lands $17 Million In Series B". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  8. ^ "Doppler Labs raises $24 million led by The Chernin Group for wireless listening system". VentureBeat. 2016-07-19. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  9. ^ Crook, Jordan. "Doppler Labs raises another $24m to put a computer in your ear". TechCrunch. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  10. ^ Aguilar, Mario. "Dubs Earplugs Don't Look Terrible So You Might Actually Wear Them". Gizmodo. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  11. ^ Crook, Jordan. "Meet Dubs, Doppler Labs' Reinvention Of The Lowly Earplug". TechCrunch. Retrieved 1 December 2017.
  12. ^ "How To Make Coachella Even Trippier: Augmented Reality Earbuds". Fast Company. 2016-04-22. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  13. ^ Pierce, David. "Doppler's New Earbuds Are Way More Than Just Wireless Headphones". WIRED. Retrieved 14 November 2017.
  14. ^ 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.
  15. ^ 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.
  16. ^ 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.
  17. ^ Pierce, David. "The Here One wireless earbuds let you remix reality". WIRED. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  18. ^ "$50 million startup Doppler Labs is suing Bose for allegedly tricking it into sharing its secret sound technology". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  19. ^ "Startup claims Bose stole its technology". Retrieved 2017-08-17.
  20. ^ "Consumer Tech Companies Want To Make Hearing Aids Cheaper—And Even Trendy". Fast Company. 2017-07-07. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  21. ^ "Senate Passes the Over-the-Counter Hearing Aid Act of 2017 Bringing Affordable and Accessible Hearing Health Care Closer to Reality". Benzinga. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  22. ^ 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.
  23. ^ Feldman, Amy (1 November 2017). "Once A Unicorn-To-Be, Smart-Earbud Startup Doppler Labs To Shut Down". Forbes. Retrieved 1 November 2017.
  24. ^ Pierce, David. "Inside the Downfall of a Wildly Ambitious Hardware Startup". WIRED. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  25. ^ "Introducing Here One™: The Future Of In-Ear Computing". Here One. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  26. ^ "Apple says it took 'courage' to remove the headphone jack on the iPhone 7". The Verge. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  27. ^ "Apple reinvents the wireless headphone with AirPods". Apple Newsroom. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  28. ^ 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.
  29. ^ (PDF) http://www.nickhunn.com/wp-content/uploads/downloads/2016/11/The-Market-for-Hearable-Devices-2016-2020.pdf. Retrieved 6 November 2017. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  30. ^ "These new wireless earbuds not only let you play music, but also customize how the world sounds around you". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  31. ^ "New York Philharmonic, Mets, Cavaliers Get Augmented Reality Listening". Fortune. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  32. ^ "Here One". Here One. Retrieved 6 November 2017.
  33. ^ "These high-tech earplugs will let you enjoy concerts without hurting your ears". Business Insider. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  34. ^ Lake, Maggie (2016-04-26). "Doppler Labs' earbuds are like Instagram filters for sound". CNNMoney. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  35. ^ "Here Active Listening - Change The Way You Hear The World". Kickstarter. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  36. ^ "How This Startup Will Make You Ditch Your Dumb Headphones". Inc.com. 2017-02-21. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  37. ^ Labs, Doppler. "Doppler Labs Announces Partnership with Bonnaroo and Outside Lands Festivals". www.prnewswire.com. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  38. ^ 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.
  39. ^ "Here One earbuds are wireless 'computers for your ears'". USA TODAY. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  40. ^ Crook, Jordan. "Doppler Labs launches hearing health campaign as Congress pushes for OTC hearing aids | TechCrunch". Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  41. ^ "Why Global Accessibility Awareness Day Matters". 2017-05-18. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  42. ^ "9 Game-Changing Inventions You Missed in 2015". Inc.com. 2016-01-13. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  43. ^ Staff, TIME. "The 25 Best Inventions of 2015". Time. Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  44. ^ "The Most Innovative Companies of 2016 by Sector: Music". Fast Company. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  45. ^ 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.
  46. ^ "Google Scores Product Design Grand Prix at Cannes for Jacquard 'Connected' Jacket". Retrieved 2017-08-18.
  47. ^ Feldman, Amy. "Next Billion-Dollar Startups 2016". Forbes. Retrieved 2017-05-13.
  48. ^ Crook, Jordan. "Meet the companies vying for Hardware of the Year at the Crunchies | TechCrunch". Retrieved 2017-08-18.