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Doppler Labs raises another $24m to put a computer in your ear

ICE Graveyard 19/07/2016 Jordan Crook

Doppler Labs, the makers of the Here Active Listening system and the Here One headphones, has today announced the close of a $24 million follow-on Series B funding round led by Peter Chernin and The Chernin Group. New investors also contributed, including Kevin Efrusy, David Geffen, Dan Gilbert, Henry Kravis and Anton Levy, among others.

Doppler Labs has been on the scene since 2014, slowly progressing toward making the first all-in-one, in-ear computer.

That started with Dubs, a fully mechanical set of ear plugs that are meant to lower the decibel level of live music without ruining the quality.

From there, the team went on to build the Here Active Listening System, an in-ear AR product that lets you live tune the audio around you. For example, users could change the volume on their environment, turn up or down the highs and lows, or use fun filters like Reverb to add an affect to the sounds around them.

The Here Active Listening system sold around 15,000 units, and proved a solid bridge product between the mechanical dubs and Doppler Labs’ biggest undertaking yet: the Here One.

Here One is essentially a souped-up version of the Here Active Listening System. The live audio tuning is much smarter, letting users hear the essentials around them like their boss speaking directly to them or an ambulance with the siren on whirring past.

However, the Here One also adds music streaming via Bluetooth, turning the lowly headphone into a full-on computer.

Dopper Labs co-founder and CEO Noah Kraft often talks about how hearing is the only sense that you can’t turn off.

“In terms of evolution, this was on purpose,” said Kraft. “We needed to listen for predators to stay safe. But now we don’t have those some threats, and we should have some control over the way our ears experience the world.”

Most people think of AR as a visual medium, but Doppler Labs is making a convincing case for the birth and growth of AR in the ear.

This capital, which was a pre-emptive move by both the company and investors, will go toward the mass-market launch of the Here One and the continued building out of the Doppler Labs team, which currently sits at about 70 people.

This funding brings Doppler Labs to a total of $50 million in funding.

You can check out Doppler Labs right here.

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