Atari is best known for classic video gaming. Now, the company is debuting a new line of wearables, called the Atari Connected Life line. The first product in the line is the Speakerhat, powered by Audiowear. This is a baseball cap with embedded high-quality speakers. Not headphones – speakers, in the bill of the cap. The Speakerhat also comes with a microphone that uses Bluetooth to connect to devices. Furthermore, you can answer phone calls with the device. Right now it isn’t clear whether users can swap the tech into a different Speakerhat, but the components look integrated from the pictures so far.
Atari also promises a fundamentally new social audio experience with Multiplayer Mode, which allows multiple users to listen to a single audio stream via Bluetooth. The Speakerhat is a promotional tie-in item for upcoming sci-fi movie Blade Runner 2049. This can be described by certain people as a cheeky marketing stunt, given that Atari was one of the companies referenced in the original Blade Runner series. The hat is a collaboration between Atari, Audioware and NECA.
Here’s a statement from AtariConnect COO Michael Arzt:
“With the recent reveal of our Atari project and now with Speakerhats, we envision a full range of connected personal devices that live at society’s intersection of entertainment, technology and social connectivity that legendary films lime blade Runner 2049 fortell.”
The official site for the product describes the hat as feeling “natural and normal to wear for long periods of time, and achieves a balance of weight vs sound quality and functionality.” Although the speakers look relatively discrete, the intent is to continuously improve on design and engineering until the technology is completely invisible. To that effect, the hat is designed to be ultrathin and lightweight.
The hat is not yet on the market. However, Atari is currently seeking early adoption for its Bea program. This program will reportedly involve just 10 participants.