UPDATED November 12, 2004 Oakley has announced the introduction of 'digital audio eyewear' - aka MP3 sunglasses. Named "Thump", the new sunglasses have the audio circuitry built seamlessly into the glasses frame. Oakley's digital music player mounts the speakers to the eyewear frame with miniature extendible booms, enhanced with pivots. They allow the wearer to adjust speaker position for optimal ear placement and to reposition the speakers away from the ears whenever necessary.
By pivoting the speakers, the wearer can control the balance between environmental sound and digital music. "When you want to carry on a conversation, you simply flip up the speakers," continued Jannard. "We even designed the lenses with a pivot mount, so you can flip them up for low-light conditions."
Oakley engineered premium analog and digital sound processing to match its new world-class design innovation. The integrated circuitry features a high performance 18-bit Sigma Delta DAC for high fidelity acoustics including a signal-to-noise ratio of greater than 90dB. An on-chip 75MHz Digital Signal Processor is optimised for extended battery life and tailored to decode high quality audio algorithms.
Custom-engineered Mylar speakers offer a wide range of frequency response, up to the 20kHz limit of normal human hearing. Anti-pop and short-circuit protection are included. Volume, song selection and power are controlled via a convenient and intuitive five-button interface located on the earstem.
The new device plays MP3, WMA and WAV file formats. Its 128MB or 256MB NAND flash memory minimizes power expenditure. File transfer is completed with a simple "drag & drop" in Microsoft Windows and Apple OS X operating systems via a high-speed USB 2.0 connection that is backward compatible with USB 1.1.
Although available storage capacity varies, the device also can store non-song file formats of virtually any kind, making it a convenient means of backing up important files and transferring files between computers.
Powered by an internal lithium ion polymer battery, a full charge is completed in just three hours, and an 80 percent fast charge requires only one hour.
Depending on volume level, file compression mode, external temperature and other factors, the internal battery offers approximately six hours of play time between charges. For added convenience, Oakley included both an audible and visual charge indicator (via LED).
The electronics are fully integrated within a lightweight O Matter frame. The flip-up lenses are raked-back with 8.75 base lens curvature, maximizing peripheral view and improving protection against sun, wind and side impact. Oakley's patented XYZ Optics maintains precise clarity at all angles of vision, even at the lens periphery.
Experience ultra-clean playback with stunning fidelity. The heart of OAKLEY THUMP is a 75MHz Digital Signal Processor with an 18-bit Sigma Delta DAC (Digital-to-Analogue Converter). The circuitry is optimised for playback of compressed MP3 and WMA song files, and uncompressed WAV files. Automatic multi EQ (equalizer) and anti-pop algorithms provide premium sound and crystal clarity.
Oakley XYZ Optics provide virtually distortion-free vision, even at the sides of raked-back lens contours. 'Plutonite' lens material blocks 100% of all UV, and Iridium lens coatings optimise vision in any light. When it comes to impact resistance OAKLEY THUMP exceeds ANSI Industrial Standards. The 256 MB model comes with premium Oakley polarization for glare filtering without the haze and distortion of conventional polarised lenses.
Control at Your Fingertips
No more digging into your pocket or fumbling with a wired remote to find a button. All controls blend seamlessly into the frame geometry where you can find them instantly. Three buttons on the right control playback and let you select the next or previous track, and two buttons on the left control volume. Pressing the "next track" and "previous track" buttons simultaneously puts OAKLEY THUMP into shuffle playback mode.
Six Hour Battery Life
A specially designed rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery minimizes weight and provides up to six hours of continuous music. For the ultimate in convenience, charging can be done through the USB cable or an optional external charger.
OAKLEY THUMP works with most Mac and Windows PCs right out of the box, no set-up required or software to install. Pick either platform - or both and use whatever music library program you want. Load songs from MusicMatch, Windows Media Player, or whatever music library program you want with cross-platform, plug-and-play digital music eyewear.
Lighting file transfer
When you connect OAKLEY THUMP to your computer, it shows up on your desktop. All you have to do is move song files - MP3, WMA or WAV format - with a simple drag and drop. Once the copying is done, you're ready to go. OAKLEY THUMP also supports multiple compression levels, and even variable bit rate (VBR) encoding for MP3 and WMA is supported.
Use OAKLEY THUMP to store and transport computer files. While you're playing your favourite tunes, you can haul virtually any kind of data. Transfer the files to another computer with the fast USB connection. Or use OAKLEY THUMP to backup critical files from work and keep them safe in your 'brainframe'.
OAKLEY THUMP comes in seven frame/lens color combinations: Matte Black / Black Polarised, Matte Black / Black Iridium, Rootbeer / Bronze, Tortoise / Gold Polarised, White Camo / Black Iridium, Night Camo / Black Polarised, and a special limited edition Red Camo / Black Polarised.
Thump will be available in the United States for the December holiday season or online at Oakley.com with a global introduction in 2005.
The suggested retail price of Thump is US$395.00 with 128MB of memory and US$495.00 with 256MB of memory and polarised lenses.