NPR All Tech: ‘Wearables’ Are So 2013, ‘Hearables’ Are The Future

on Tuesday, Apr. 29th

With a design that’s straight out of the Oscar winning film Her, a new class of wearable technology nicknamed “hearables” is generating a significant buzz according to NPR All Tech Considered’s Jessica Glazer:

The wireless in-ear device might give you an alert as you walk past a bookstore that your favorite author is speaking there tonight. Perhaps it picks up the words “this Friday” in your conversation and helps mark your calendar. Or maybe you are on a walking tour of a college campus and as you get closer to certain buildings, audio pipes in with notable research being done at the school.

You could do all this without having to bury your face in a screen or looking through Google Glass. We’re not too far off technologically, with Bluetooth widely used and improved hearing aids. The lack of a screen or visual element is one of hearables’ main attractive features. It helps integrate the device into our lives.

“In-ear is more unobtrusive, I can look directly at you as we communicate,” says Ben Waber, CEO of Sociometric Solutions. “You want to have access to those things, but at the same time you don’t want to interfere with things that people are really good at,” namely face-to-face interaction, he says.

Image: Bragi’s Dash in-ear device.


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