IDC defines Earwear/Hearables as the wearables that hang on or plug into the ear. The device must operate wirelessly and provide stereo sound while also including at least one of the following features:
– Track health/fitness (e.g., Samsung Gear IconX)
– Modify audio, and not just noise reduction (e.g., Nuheara IQbuds)
– Provide language translation on the device (e.g., Waverly Labs)
– Enable smart assistants at the touch of a button or through hotword detection even if the assistant is running on another device such as a smartphone (e.g., Apple’s AirPods and Google’s Pixel Buds)
While everybody is talking about smart speakers as the push towards voice interfaces, the real driver might be the adoption of Hearables. They provide a much more personal experience, and tackle some of the issues people might have with open voice interfaces. Hearables entail much more than the hearing aid you think of for the older adults.