in Spike Jonze’s Her , Joaquin Phoenix falls in love with his earpiece – or rather, a woman’s voice inside him. The film depicts a society in which artificially intelligent hearing aids serve human companions.

cliche for hearables future Her , nevertheless, a number of key issues related to a saturated industry ear to wear wearable, that must be addressed – not only to prevent an isolated world where people are becoming more and more obsessed with their trinkets, but also herald an audible promote technologies that may even be able to own self-reflection and introspection.

Changes in the form of stigma

Single future portrayed in Her exactly what technology should not be heard in turn. However, it enhances the way people tend to perceive these headphones – isolated and potentially embarrassing. We have already seen (and joked about) their first iterations Headset Bluetooth – is clumsy, the device speakers gave almost comical impression that one was talking to himself. He also tried to standardize audible technology, efforts to combat the stigma of the existing insulation and isolation emanated to earphones and headphones.

Bluetooth headset introduced the world to the potential of [19459008hearables], but the stigma is still there, especially there in devices for health, such as hearing aids. They create the impression that the user is immersed in his own world; they are perceived as socially awkward.

However, instead of just Fighting existing stigma hearables companies should also strive to remake it. Creating a device less visible, is a step in the right direction, but the challenge is to make them normative. To facilitate the transition to AI companions, they have to be socially acceptable.

Hearables companies are now developing products that are directed both to complement and enhance hearing.

By Mauricio Cibelli, co-founder and CEO of the Italian company Hutoma, a startup that is developing a technology to create emotionally intelligent neural network systems like that of Her , it is one of the largest problems . “There is a lot of discussion about AI and the perception of people at once will become negative when they hear the term -. That is a difficult thing to measure when”

One solution is to convert these headphones are more social experience. Instead configure from their environment, why not develop hearables , which is also tuned to the world around them?

Products such as Doppler Labs’ That prompted Motorola aims to supervise the living experience, not only an increase in the sound that people want to hear, but also to isolate and reduce unwanted noise such as the sounds of trains and aircraft turbulence. These features are amazing; They convert.

In a previous interview with TechCrunch, co-founder of the Doppler Labs, and CEO Noah Kraft says he envisions a world where “every audio experience perfectly.”

This is more than just make the technology an outstanding; People need to feel comfortable going out in public wearing these devices. “This is what you should wear with pride, not something you have to hide or something that makes [you] feel the social stigma,” says Kraft.

Demographic acceptability of

bracelet and fitness trackers, we often discuss the concept of “stickiness”, or lack thereof; Many people who buy these products to stop using them after a few months. A study conducted by Endeavour partners found that 33 percent of American consumers to stop using the device after six months.

One of the goals of the company is to develop a product or service to be used by consumers during the day for as long as possible. Some devices such as the iPhone and IPad, reached broad acceptability and usability, because they cater to all demographic groups; they are available and easy to use. Similarly to [19459008hearables], the device must be intuitive, easy to learn, and how his life unobtrusively as possible to the technology becomes a temporary fad.

Some of the companies developing technology audible looking for first satisfy niche markets.

According to Dr. Steven LeBoeuf, co-founder and president of Valencell, Raleigh-based company that develops biometric sensors [19459008hearables], this is an important thing to consider.

“The fact that people are concerned about how to improve their lives,” said LeBoeuf. “The way a mobile phone to make it very clear. Way fitness trackers [and hearables ] do is not entirely clear and that should be done is to find ways to integrate the experience and how people are already living, because what people really want to know that they can definitely do -. that definitely happens to them to improve their way of life “

To better understand the public perception, some of the companies developing technology audible looking for first satisfy niche markets – enthusiasts, if you will. – Before the gradual, and the mass market

“[Our product] will be applied beginning in the niche, and that’s who we are targeting. These technical enthusiasts and is the perfect place for us, because we want to grow organically,” says Cibelli. “It actually works very well for us if we can target those people in the first place.”

Noah Kraft agrees. “Ideal Client to start even the client; it’s someone who is deeply passionate about music that they wrote to us to be a part of the waiting list – part of the beta program – where they go into the world and indeed to give us feedback about what they like and what they do not … that niche demographic, but we found that this is a very passionate one. ”

Technical Barriers

The potential in this sector is almost limitless. Through several years, it may be a wireless headset that can facilitate target language in real time and use the sensors for integrating biometric data to influence games. Companies such as Elbee Valencell and are already trying to resolve these problems. They focused on the use of the ear to communicate with other applications. With Elbee, for instance, users can tell their own wireless headset to turn lights on and off, temperature control, send text messages and more -. In addition to playing music

However, there are some formalities that need to be developed in the future, depending on the uses audible.

Smaller and smarter sensors

Headphones are going to measure the vital organs, such as blood flow, calories burned and pulse priorities accuracy of their sensors. The objective is to enable the sensors are not only checked, and extensively tested, but also small enough to fit comfortably in the ear.

The ear has a relatively more profitable than the wrist; a relatively stationary, meaning that it is much easier to effectively measure vital signs. However, each ear has a unique shape. In contrast to the wrist, is also a small environment filled with moisture and earwax. Developers should consider these factors when optimizing their devices.

“There’s a need to do more intelligent sensors. In the process of” true wireless headphones, “you have only so much real estate you can put in these devices … you start to run out of space,” said LeBoeuf. “Now, when people want to add more and more functionality of the sensor, starting to become big. One of the things to do is to find ways to improve and reduce the size while adding more functionality to these sensors. “

In addition to accuracy, the sensors have to be smart.

“Assessment should be based on the real accurate data,” said LeBoeuf. “As [the speaker] know it’s accurate? If it’s just to get the data, he will not know. One of the things that [Valencell] developed a way to find out if they have the right dimensions or not, if they are wrong they are not in the model. ”

Battery life

Current recreation wireless headphones can last an average of 3-5 hours of continuous use; hearing aids, such as Eargo can last all day on a single charge.

Minimization of processes to preserve battery life is one tenant, but it’s also about the length of battery life as the main determinant of whether or not people will be wearing audible. Ideally, the device should continue as long as the smartphone, to withstand constant use. While this barrier is a problem for all wearable, it’s especially important for [19459008hearables], to turn them from just a commodity to necessity. Portable chargers are also a plus.

Choosing the right wireless technology

Many wireless Bluetooth headphones to use, but some companies are trying to use other wireless technology for streaming music. HearNotes, for example, uses Kleer, alternative to Bluetooth, developed by Microchip Technology. By HearNotes, Kleer is optimized for the loss of high quality wireless audio through the portable audio devices, and consume less power, resulting in up to 10x the battery life of comparable devices Bluetooth.

Instead of simply fighting the existing stigma, hearables companies should also strive to change it.

The analysis is based on a comparison of the current 150 mW Bluetooth headset with the consumption of 30 mW devices Kleer. This discrepancy is further enhanced ability to carry Kleer 3-4x speed data transmission.

One of the problems for the prototype provides a clear link between the left and right headphones, as well as with the device itself. By Elbee co-founder and CEO Conrad Holubek, the positioning of the antenna in the headphones, it is important to make sure your hearables The device works without problems.

Moving Forward

code future , the film Spike Jonze in specified is not really too far. There are companies that develop a deep learning of neural networks, which convert your digital assistant by just taking the team in a virtual companion that helps you to learn and grow -. Artificial intelligence that is capable of thinking

Indeed, in the project HER Hutoma (inspired by the movie, of course) is developing the technology to do just that. They are aimed at the development of the neural network, which would provide basic intelligence with which potential users can create and customize.

In Cibelli, technologies such as this could contribute to the potential [19459008hearables]. “I hope that hearables will AI, because I think it’s pretty much a necessity,” says Cibelli. “There are so many advantages and applications.”

Hearables the company is currently developing products that aim to both complement and enhance hearing. Products are supplied in all of the options (in the ear, ear, around the ear). And while all of these companies have a common goal to attract and expand the benefits of the ear, they all have different ideas about how to do it.

As a result, it all comes down to the experience of the user, hearables provide.

“It is easy to see these individual technologies are taking off and make them cool stuff, and it’s fun to connect the dots, but there are a lot of testing to be done,” said LeBoeuf. “Testing technology with people, will take some time.”

Featured image: Annette Shaff / Shutterstock