Ever pull out your earbuds to talk to someone, then forget to also turn off your iPod? Chances are you came back to your music sometime later, only to find that your player's battery was flat dead. These smart earbuds solve that problem by turning off your player automatically, when you pull the earphones out of your ears.
The problem usually occurs when you meet someone you know just as you arrive at work, you pull out the earbuds to talk to them, but forget to turn off the music player all day while you're at work. Then you're stuck without your tunes for the ride home.
The Air Tube concept earbuds from designers Sunmi Hwang, Hyunjoo-Lee and Jiwon-Seok have a pressure sensitive switch that can tell when the earbuds are pushed into your ears, and which automatically turns off the player if it no longer senses you ear canals squeezing them.
This sounds like a clever idea, but I wonder how they can make it so they work with different sized ears. Most in-ear style earphones come with several different sized tips so you can get a good fit, but it seems like that would be tough to do while incorporating the pressure sensor.