The Future Of Augmented Reality Might Be in Hearables

Augmented reality in hearables
Image: Olive

Hearables or Smart headphones are advanced, electronic in-ear-devices. They are designed for multiple purposes ranging from wireless transmission to communication, medical monitoring and fitness tracking. Due to the popularity of wearables, hearables with augmented reality (AR) features are becoming ubiquitous.

Read more Audio Streaming and New Bluetooth Technology to Drive Hearables Market, Reaching $80 billion in 2025

While virtual reality takes to a completely different world than where you are now, augmented reality adds (augments) additional things to your reality. Now, Audio augmented reality (AuR) augments our reality by incorporating virtual add-ons. AuR also enhances our reality by curating or selectively manipulating what we hear. This technology offers an immersive experience by including an audio layer on top of real reality. As seeing takes up a lot of our focus, and hearing has a lower cognitive load, Aur is the safest way of layering on a combined sensory experience.

“Today, when people talk about augmented (audio) reality they’re usually referring to audio content customized for your location. One super simple, low-tech example that’s been around for years comes from the US Open Tennis Championship. When you go watch the US Open live, you can get American Express headphones that let you listen to John McEnroe’s commentary from the TV booth while you watch the match. That’s augmenting your reality of watching the tennis match with audio commentary,” says Katherine Prescott, who launched VoiceBrew as the first digital media company dedicated to helping people get the most out of Amazon Alexa.

Hearing aids have long been small earbud like devices worn in the ears of old people. They were boring. But now smart hearables are changing the landscape of hearing aids. Many hearables makers are integrating audio augmented reality into their devices to deliver immersive experience to the user.

A set of smart hearables

Nuheara

Nuheara’s premium earbuds now offer noise cancellation. With Nuheara’s IQbuds you can hear nearby conversation while muting other sounds.

Olive Smart Ear

The Olive Smart Ear are small earbuds. All you have to do is set it up via an app-driven hearing test to tune the device to the quirks of your personal hearing. After that, the device equalizes the world to your ears while also offering variable amplification taken from the traditional hearing aid playbook.

Read more Audio Augmented Reality (AuR) enhances our reality by curating or selectively manipulating what we hear

Sonion-Valencell Partner Up for Biometrics

Sonion and Valencell formed a strategic partnership that will increase the limits for the use of biometric sensors in the ear. Under the strategic partnership, Sonion will launch an extensive collection of sensor modules for various applications in the ear and Valencell will continue developing its innovative portfolio of advanced and accurate biometric sensor capabilities. Valencell’s tech can measure heart rate via PPG (photoplethysmography), and measure blood pressure the same way. As part of the sensor modules, Sonion will integrate its world class balanced armature speakers.

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Sam Draper () is Online Editor at WT | Wearable Technologies specialized in the field of sports and fitness but also passionated about any new lifestyle gadget on the market. Sam can be contacted at press(at)wearable-technologies.com.