Exploring the Hearables Category

2Q 2016 | IN-4027

Hearables are an emerging market with participants still coming up with a definition. One aspect of the market is simply typically the in-ear form factor, providing comfort and small form factor. Other aspects include typically higher on-board processing power compared to existing Bluetooth headsets. While it is theoretically possible to make a hearable leveraging only Bluetooth functionality, with all processing in the smart phone, most devices will have some sort of on-board storage (for standalone music playback), processing (from speech recognition (Cortana, please…)) or standalone processing (for instance, providing proactive feedback on heart rate during a workout session). Finally, hearables may include a larger variety of sensors than existing headsets. Aural heart rate sensors, water sensors, in-ear proximity sensors to help with battery savings, and even 3-axis and 6-axis gyros to provide some motion and situational awareness as well as microphones, possibly with voice detection and identification.

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