It all started in 2012 when. . .
A group of renegade designers and engineers got to thinking about what would happen if you could shrink all of the technology components of a smart-enabled earphone (hearable) down small enough to be completely concealed within traditional fashion jewelry form factors — like earrings and bracelets.
Five years of intensive R&D and a long list of patents later, EAR Micro and Piearcings (www.piearcings.com) partnered to launch the world's first techno-jewelry—powerful hearables concealed within earrings, watch straps, bracelets, and necklaces that enable wearers to listen to music, chat on the phone, post to social sites, converse with AI assistants, and remotely interface with a phone, apps, and other IOT connected devices, right from their ears. Wow.
Today, EAR Micro continues to expand through smart B2B partnership opportunities that leverage our growing IP portfolio and our deep engineering expertise to develop new hearable products targeted to a number of industries. We are passionate believers that ear-computing will remain one of the fastest-growing and most exciting new technology frontiers for years to come. In fact, we believe ear-computing will become truly ubiquitous during the 2020’s, just as smart phones became ubiquitous during the 2000’s.
Team and expertise
Our team is tightly integrated, deeply experienced, and incredibly efficient. A few of us have worked together for over 25 years. Collectively, we've handled complex hardware & software integrations and incredibly challenging consumer product development engagements for a healthy dollop of well-known consumer brands, a ton of hi-fi audio companies, several telecom giants, and even the United States military.
Our expertise spans the disciplines of industrial design, electrical and software engineering, mechanical engineering, materials science, DFM optimization, UX development, safety testing/compliance certification, and production oversight.
We've been down the toughest roads, and been buried (nearly alive) in some pretty deep trenches. As a result, we can regale "legendary" stories, each designed to impart a similar moral, namely: how to avoid the myriad wrong turns that inevitably lead to development hell.
Developing a next-gen micro-hearable is a very tough mountain to scale; we're your sherpa.
Rachel Kersten, Marketing Director
Luan Kadriu, Director of Sports Marketing.
Anis, CEO (a.k.a. ‘the suit’). Harvard educated, internationally honed, 2019 Pipeline Entrepreneurial Fellow, scaled former business to 1 Billion annual turnover.
Patsy, COO (a.k.a. ‘sanity check’). Former product manager for Sprint. Task maven, but no whip required—she’ll kill you with kindness.
Troy, CTO (a.k.a. ‘wonder geek’). CS and EE, RF specialist, extensive military contracting experience—don’t ask, he can’t tell you anyhow. Former CEO X-Com Systems, sold to Bird RF.
Bear, Chief Innovation Instigator (a.k.a. ‘train-wreck’). But it’s his just-barely-tethered-to-reality mindset that we harness to deliver magic. Bear has personally written 35 patents (and counting), nearly 30 which are in the earphone, headphone, and hearables space. Bear designed the very first smart (app-enabled) headphones for audio stalwart Denon Electronics in 2011, ushering in the age of the ‘hearable’ as it is known today.
Martin, Industrial Engineer (a.k.a. ‘cad ninja'). While Bear sketches with wild abandon, Martin sculpts those sketches into pure product perfection. (Too Bear and Martin don’t share a body; they’re connected about 90% of the day anyway.
Mark, Software Engineer (a.k.a. ‘skid mark’). Named for his proclivity for wiping out motorcycles. Jeez. We hope to leverage a bit more of his genius before he races headlong into another wall before his 25th b-day. . .
Mikie, Creative Director (a.k.a. ‘kool and the gang’). Born in KS, transplanted to West L.A. Finger resting deftly on the pulse of culture, while his own pulse never rises above 65. Our chief liaison to the marcom teams we work alongside at our partner and client companies.
Alex, Social Media & Relations (a.k.a. ‘who knew they teach that shit at Berkeley?’, and also a.k.a. ‘young person’ willing to do anything.)
Chris, Industrial Design 2 (a.k.a. ‘kooky monster’, a.k.a. ‘Martin’s other hand’—since it takes a few of them these days to keep up with Bear’s idea factory of a brain. . .)
Matt, Mechanical Engineer (a.k.a. ‘Scope Junkie’). Literally, poor Matt looks like a raccoon due to his bruised eye sockets damaged by 12 hours a day under the microscope assembling tiny parts the size of dust with the hands of a surgeon. Actually, the hands of a rock star. . . Matt made the semi-finals as replacement guitarist in the Red Hot Chili Peppers. But don’t ask him about it, —he’s still sore he didn't score the gig.
We wrote our first key IP for (what would later become known as) the Hearables space in 2012—a utility patent for the stowage and concealment of a wireless earphone inside of another body-worn apparatus (initially an earring, but later—through CIP’s—other apparatuses such as watches, fitness bands, bracelets, glasses and AR goggles, etc.)
Over the coming years, we built several follow-on branches to that particular IP trunk, and planted several additional IP trees as well. All of our patents granted and pending are UTILITY patents; not merely design patents. Some relate to novel form factors, others to user interface, power management, ergonomics, or hardware/software/firmware. Collectively, and because our initial IP was conceived so much earlier than nearly anyone else in the space (save for our fine friends and partners at Bragi GmbH), our granted patents are generally both broad and defensible (*hence, quite valuable.)
Brands who partner with EAR Micro benefit directly from limited exclusive license to our full and growing IP portfolio, as well as the the complete IP portfolio of our partners at Bragi. It’s no accident that major international tech players (like Huawei) have found themselves reduced to feeble attempts to copy, improve upon, or work around our collective IP wall. This helps to keep our partners (the David’s of the world) more than a few steps out in front of the big-tech Goliaths. Innovation through collaboration.
We believe true innovation has quite little to do with the size of an organization. Innovation is served best by those who are nimble on their feet, sprinting with keen direction to a point where the market is eventually headed, long before there is even market to begin with. By partnering with EAR Micro, you can rest assured that you are on the ‘right’ side of the IP wall.