Seemingly out of the blue, Atari just announced that it has created what's called a "Speakerhat." No subtlety there, mind you — it's literally a hat with speakers built-in.
It also has a microphone and can pair with devices via Bluetooth for phone calls and music playback. Atari says the Speakerhat is rechargeable, although exactly how that works remains vague.
Here's the kicker, though: Atari says that eventually, users who wear Speakerhats can sync together and listen to the same audio stream simultaneously, which might sound not at all sophisticated on surface level but is actually pretty promising. Imagine going up to your Speakerhat-wearing friend and "syncing" with him a new playlist you created?
Atari Unveils The Speakerhat
Fortune describes the Speakerhat itself as light and thin, running on an embedded lithium-ion battery. It sports a universal control button, in addition to an LED indicator light. Audiowear developed the Speakerhat, dubbed as a "new listening experience" that feels natural and normal to wear for extended periods.
It's in its early stages, it seems, because at this point Atari is still looking for willing beta testers. But it hopes it can continuously improve on design and engineering to make a hat that doesn't look like a gadget at all, to make the technology "completely invisible."
Atari Speakerhat: Pricing And Availability
Atari hasn't revealed concrete release date or pricing details — as mentioned, it's possible the Speaker is just more than a concept at the moment. Yet Atari seems it's in no business to make false promises, because a real-life Speakerhat actually exists. Check out its unboxing video and see for yourself.
Development seems well underway if Atari has indeed reached that point where it needs beta recruits to test the product out for kinks, but chances are slim that this could have a life beyond being a movie tie-in. Still, wearable tech remains a category most likely to flourish in 2017 and beyond, and the idea of a hat that can play music and looks exactly like a regular hat could be a hit with the masses.
That being said, smartwatches are barely hanging on as it is, so the future of Atari's Speakerhat and, by extension, wearable tech in general, is sort of in an awkward position. But tides turn all the time, so who knows?