Noopl looks like one of the more interesting hardware startups to come out of CES day one. The Sacramento-based company has designed an accessory that it says can help drown out background noise for users in a loud environment.
The little accessory sports a Lightning plug (it’s currently iOS only), which connects to the bottom of an iPhone. The little dongle features a trio of microphones, coupled with an audio signal processor designed to reduce background noise.
The Noopl app launches when the device is plugged in, setting up a connection with a pair of AirPods Pro. It’s designed to utilize head tracking to determine the direction the wearer is facing, in order to offer clearer sound in that direction. The app can then be used to broaden the direction beam and adjust volume.
The company was founded by Steven Verdooner and Kevin Snow, building on technology from Sydney’s National Acoustic Laboratories (NAL).
“The genesis for the idea occurred when Verdooner was at a noisy restaurant with his father and both of them experienced challenges hearing each other, even with the father’s state-of-the-art hearing aids in ‘restaurant mode,’ ” it writes in a press release. “Realizing an immense opportunity to potentially help millions of people, Verdooner partnered with NAL and a small team of seasoned scientists and engineers to create Noopl. Hearing industry veteran, Tim Trine, was brought on in 2020 as President and CEO to create a scalable technology platform, commercialize products, and grow the company.”
The device is currently up for pre-order from Noopl’s site, priced at $199.