Before Apple’s AirPods, long before the Galaxy Buds or any of these other ones we’ve reviewed, the Bragi Dash were among the first truly wireless earbuds, the first to actually cut the cord. But they were also incredibly ambitious, promising an intelligent earbud like something out of a science fiction movie, and that ambition has apparently taken a toll: the company is now exiting the consumer hardware business, as reported earlier by Wareable.
In a new press release emailed to The Verge today, Bragi strangely only spends a single line discussing the company’s exit from hardware: “In March 2019 Bragi sold the product business to a 3rd party to focus on scaling its technology.” That’s our only insight into the future of the existing Bragi Dash Pro wireless headphones — despite the fact that the company’s customers have been pinging on Twitter about fixes, some refunds, and new product availability (the buds have been out of stock) for a while.
Instead, the company’s bombastic press release is focused on convincing readers that Bragi might do better as a software business, specifically a company that can provide AI smarts to other manufacturers’ headphones and speakers.
To that end, Bragi says it’s announcing a partnership with Asia Universal Technology (which is itself a partner of a subsidiary of semiconductor company MediaTek, the press release points out) to “scale Bragi software and AI to 10s of millions of headphones and speakers in the coming years.”
That’s a lofty goal for a company that’s been pursuing lofty goals with only moderate successfor the past four years, but it’s true that Bragi’s been telegraphing its desire to sell software instead of hardware for a while. I wish the team luck, but it’s possible this is the last we’ll hear of the Bragi brand; even if successful, it’s rare to see a startup’s name on an intermediate piece of software that quietly powers another company’s devices.
Bragi won’t say who bought the product business, so it’s still possible we’ll have something more to write on this topic, should that company reveal itself.