Introducing the PineBuds and PinePod. Seriously.

Lukasz Erecinski Apr 1. 2022 38

People are frequently asking us to create more mainstream devices such as an inkjet printer or a microwave, and for a good reason. Complex open devices such as the PinePhone are both exciting and fun, but they also aren’t for everyone. Or putting it inversely, they are for a very particular group of people. In contrast, simpler devices in our lineup such as the PineTime, PinePower, and Pinecil have all garnered a broader user base. Heck, I’d go as far as to say that the Pinecil is now a downright mainstream device with Amazon USA officially recommending it to those seeking a soldering iron. So then – we thought to ourselves – it’s time to go mainstream.   

See? told you …

Seeking inspiration and scrolling through lists of popular home appliances, game consoles, battery-operated toys, etc, we frequently thought to ourselves: “we could probably do it equally well, if not better, and make it open”. We figured that since we’re already going after Apple with the PinePhone, we could also take a shot at the growing internet-enabled toy market. We therefore started development on a brand new lineup of unicorn toys with microphones, with the capacity to function as an always-online child-friendly voice assistant, and optional Home Assistant integration. With this new project already underway, two even more potentially lucrative market segments presented themselves: portable digital audio players and wireless earbuds. 

So, with no further ado, let me introduce you to PineBuds and the PinePod. The buds offer features found on high-end in-ear headphones, such as ambient and environment noise cancellation (utilizing 3 microphones in each bud), touch-based input, and a long battery life. All in a small form factor too, of course. Unlike existing products, however, we’ve designed the PineBuds with development and open firmware in mind. You’ll be able to plug the buds cradle into your computer via USB and tailor the firmware to your own needs – changing the internal EQ settings and customizing the touch input being the obvious examples. The cradle has in-built UART, which is used for flashing firmware. I’m told that with the right tweaks, the PineBuds may actually work as over-the-counter hearing aids too. Seriously. The chipset inside the PineBuds is so versatile that it will also serve as the basis for the PinePod digital audio player. We haven’t yet gotten the design of the PinePod down, but I’ll browse Apple’s store for inspiration later today. Regardless, I just feel an open stand-alone music player belongs in 2022.

You’ll be pleased to know that the SDK has already been compiled and proven to work, and that a development board is incoming. Unfortunately, we had already started manufacturing the unicorn toys before deciding to switch focus. As a result, the first batch of the dev boards will arrive back from the factory next week following a slight delay, after intensive unicorn toy disassembly operations. More details about the PineBuds and the PinePod will be coming in this month’s update, and pre-orders for the development boards will be opening soon via our pre-order system. Seriously.

Oh, I almost forgot, those are the actual buds in the header picture at the top of the page, and they are already functional. The unicorn is real too. 

Here’s the dev board – I’m serious

38 responses to “Introducing the PineBuds and PinePod. Seriously.”

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    james h Jackson jr says:

    Why yes today is the first day of april and that was prob a joke article correct bard to beleive its already april.

    why did i fall for this until i realized the date. i kinda really want it to be real though… April 1 2023, Pine64 has overtaken Whirlpool as one of the most popular microwave manufacturers in the US!

    Ryan P Nicholl says:

    This actually sounds like a good idea for a real product. o-O

    I would like to see it become real. The release on April 1st makes me think it’s not, although I have seen a couple product launches on April 1st that ended up being real.

    znoteer says:

    LOL!! I’ll but you analyzed real unicorn DNA when the unicorn toys, too! You had me going for a quite a few sentences, though. Congrats for that 🙂 I had a good laugh once too many red flags had popped up, though. Thanks.

    I think 2022 is also crying out for a PineCam pocket-sized point-and-shoot camera and PinePlace — a stand-alone GPS receiver.

    While I’m confident this is a unicorn poo, the idea has merit and I’d buy one, well several really. I listen to books and podcasts all-day and I only buy headphones that don’t have the gummy bits so that I can hear what is going on around me. If I could mix the Bluetooth audio with the surrounding audio I’d be a very happy boy indeed.

    But then again unicorns might be real and pigs might fly.

    I would like pine64 to produce a CCTV system. Like the ones from Reolink or hikvision, only with the NVR running open source software.

    I don’t think It’s be too hard either: box, power supply, compute board, storage, POE switch. Existing cameras just need to be made POE and put in weather proof enclosures.

    Tyler Irwin says:

    Seriously! I would love to have a pine pod. The ability to play my.opus sound files, by 3.5mm Jack or by Bluetooth would be awesome in my opinion. Needs to be able to hold around 20-40GB of music though.

    Tyler Irwin says:

    Would need to have that awesome rainbow pine logo as well. The pinebuds would be a great addition to that, however I would like an over ear option as that is more comfortable to my ears.

    Edward Lukacs says:

    A sincere suggestion… It’s obvious that you have a talented group of developers, but doubtless it is small. It is easy to spread yourselves too thin, developing things only partially before moving on, leaving latent flaws. Sooner or later, these errors and omissions –bugs– will turn on you and bite you. I urge you that the world cam, indeed, be yours, but only if your products are bug-free and build a good reputation for quality and value. Design carefully, test well, and be prepared to properly support what you sell and you will succeed. You’re good nd talented people and I’d hate to see you ending up on the trash heap with the careless also-rans.

    zetabeta says:

    sometimes when tech or i.t. world makes those april fools’ jokes, they become reality after some years. so, do we see programmable earbuds or headphones in the future. what about programmable bluetooth speaker!? maybe not.

    Holly Macaw says:

    Ok, seriously… the pinepod sounds amazing! Can we make it a pinepod classic though, like a ton of space and a battery that lasts a month? Seriously.

    I’d be on board with a classic style pinepod – might be able to run it on one of those RISC V chips at super low battery requirements.

    Don Varkson says:

    A PinePod running Rockbox or a custom PMP Linux would be a super interesting product. I use a hires walkman day to day and while there’s hacked firmware to add features, I feel like a community around a piece of open music player hardware would make for an incredible experience.

    …. but actually; More mainstream thingies, less complicated (bluetooth headphones?) than phone would go well in my opinion and will add to pine64 bottomline.
    If i had an option to chose between off the shelf common life item and PINE one i would go with open all the way.
    This is actually, if grabber by right end, idea for massive growth…. IF grabbed by right end…. Pineowen? if hackable, SSHable and all that jazz OWNED by me and only me, throw two my direction like yesterday.

    Food for thought i would say

    So while we had april 1. lets go wild 🙂

    My wishlist:

    Pine NAS (8 drives)
    Pine router
    Pinecharger (option to charge additional pinephone/book battery)
    Pine roomba vacuum
    Pine walkman
    Pine phones
    Pine TV
    Pine remote
    Pine fridge
    Pine doorbell/cctv
    Pine wash machine
    Pine flower watering
    Pine lights
    Pine aircondition/purifier
    Pine window shades
    All of this managed by Pine homeasistant

    Then, you can do unicorn as well 😀

    P.s. This is not a joke i would buy all of this if created by PINE64 (free,open,hackable)

    Mark Alward says:

    Hi Paul Black, can you tell me why “Hi Pine64 team I received my Pinephone Pro Couldn’t update software although it said it had one for me battery eventually died I tried to recharge changed batteries with several of the many Pinephones I had purchased from you but haven’t got the PinePhone Pro to ever restart! What’s the story?” can you help me-with this issue? I sent this email to Sales Pine 64 & have not heard back yet?!

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