Wearable Technologies: Hearables?
Wearable technologies are becoming ubiquitous, though the expectation until now has been that we’ll always be wearing these devices on our wrists. If wearables like Google Glass are sputtering out, will our ears be the next frontier in wearable technology?
A CNBC report this past December revealed the potential of these devices to be worn around or directly in our ears. They point out that in-ear wearables are especially good for the fitness market because they’re capable of more accurate heart rate monitoring and reading more complex issues such as body temperature.
More importantly, these devices (becoming known as hearables) will provide a better sense of fashion for those concerned about wearing devices elsewhere. Wearing a smart device on the wrist might not always make a great fashion statement, but it at least provides a topic of conversation at parties.
Devices are now becoming so small, a hearable would hardly be noticed if worn around the ear. This concept is fundamentally different from current Bluetooth headsets that are obvious when seen on people wearing them. Working almost like hearing aids designed to appear transparent, wearables on the ear have more advantages when you don’t want them to be noticed.
Reports indicate that major companies are planning to invest in these ear devices throughout this year and in the near future.
Apple in Hearables?
In the CNBC report, they mentioned that Apple could benefit from widely delving into the hearables market. Most of this would come in the form of wireless headphones that double as health monitors while working out. Similar companies are already conquering this technology, including German company Bragi which offers wireless earbuds that play music, track fitness and monitor heart rate.
Apple has proved again and again that being late to the game doesn’t always mean that they’re not in it. With Apple investing in Beats recently, the hope is that they will have a similar product on the market before long.
If hearables are designed to be non-obstructive, then wearable products will finally burgeon as they should, an almost imperceptible part of our bodies.