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Hearables
What next?
Nick Hunn
CTO – WiFore
March 2020
What is a “Hearable”?
Anything you put in or on your ear which has a
wireless connection.
• Bluetooth Headsets
• Wireless Headphones
• Hearing Aids
• Earbuds
2
The impact of Streaming
3
The Hearables Market
4
Dash by Bragi – Hearables’ Poster Child
5
The real winner
6
Earbuds are not easy
• 2.4GHz is not good for ear to ear audio – it’s absorbed by
your head. But you need to synchronise left and right
stereo to within +20 µsecs. So antenna design is critical.
• Getting a decent battery life is very difficult.
• Picking up voice from an earbud is difficult.
• Packaging everything into an earbud is very difficult.
• Production and testing of these devices is really difficult.
(There’s a reason hearing aids are expensive.)
7
The evolution of features
Crowdfunded
Enthusiasm
Advanced Audio Biometrics
Getting Audio
Right
2019 2020
8
The Hearables Ecosystem
9
Data isn’t easy
With audio, you don’t need to develop content.
10
Some interesting areas
The progression of interaction
Voice is the next interface.
12
Expanding the Business Model
+ Alexa Everywhere.
Amazon Echo Buds
13
Industrial Protection
• Monitors exposure for protection.
• Lets employers understand where responsibility for hearing loss
resides. It’s a business model driven by insurance.
14
It’s not just industrial noise...
Some 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of
hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices,
including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of
sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars
and sporting events, according to WHO. Hearing loss has
potentially devastating consequences for physical and mental
health, education and employment.
Source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/ear-care/en/
15
Is it an Earbud or a Hearing Aid?
Hearing LossMild Severe
Hearing AidsConsumer
Hearing Loss TAM is ~ 1.5 billion
PSAP
16
Social Factors may dominate usage
“I’m listening to you.” “I’m ignoring you.”
Office Integration
18
Not just Office 365
• Microsoft Surface
Building Integration
• Presence
• Authentication
• Environmental
• Health
Something to think about…
19
$80 billion in 2025
20
Nick Hunn
CTO
mob: +44 7768 890 148
email: nick@wifore.com
web: www.wifore.com
Creative Connectivity Blog: www.nickhunn.com
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/nickhunn
Hearables Market Reports: http://bit.ly/hearables2025
http://bit.ly/hearables2020
Thank You.
Questions?
21

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Hearables. Not just Music, but Sound & the Environment

  • 1. Hearables What next? Nick Hunn CTO – WiFore March 2020
  • 2. What is a “Hearable”? Anything you put in or on your ear which has a wireless connection. • Bluetooth Headsets • Wireless Headphones • Hearing Aids • Earbuds 2
  • 3. The impact of Streaming 3
  • 5. Dash by Bragi – Hearables’ Poster Child 5
  • 7. Earbuds are not easy • 2.4GHz is not good for ear to ear audio – it’s absorbed by your head. But you need to synchronise left and right stereo to within +20 µsecs. So antenna design is critical. • Getting a decent battery life is very difficult. • Picking up voice from an earbud is difficult. • Packaging everything into an earbud is very difficult. • Production and testing of these devices is really difficult. (There’s a reason hearing aids are expensive.) 7
  • 8. The evolution of features Crowdfunded Enthusiasm Advanced Audio Biometrics Getting Audio Right 2019 2020 8
  • 10. Data isn’t easy With audio, you don’t need to develop content. 10
  • 12. The progression of interaction Voice is the next interface. 12
  • 13. Expanding the Business Model + Alexa Everywhere. Amazon Echo Buds 13
  • 14. Industrial Protection • Monitors exposure for protection. • Lets employers understand where responsibility for hearing loss resides. It’s a business model driven by insurance. 14
  • 15. It’s not just industrial noise... Some 1.1 billion teenagers and young adults are at risk of hearing loss due to the unsafe use of personal audio devices, including smartphones, and exposure to damaging levels of sound at noisy entertainment venues such as nightclubs, bars and sporting events, according to WHO. Hearing loss has potentially devastating consequences for physical and mental health, education and employment. Source: http://www.who.int/mediacentre/news/releases/2015/ear-care/en/ 15
  • 16. Is it an Earbud or a Hearing Aid? Hearing LossMild Severe Hearing AidsConsumer Hearing Loss TAM is ~ 1.5 billion PSAP 16
  • 17. Social Factors may dominate usage “I’m listening to you.” “I’m ignoring you.”
  • 18. Office Integration 18 Not just Office 365 • Microsoft Surface Building Integration • Presence • Authentication • Environmental • Health
  • 19. Something to think about… 19
  • 20. $80 billion in 2025 20
  • 21. Nick Hunn CTO mob: +44 7768 890 148 email: nick@wifore.com web: www.wifore.com Creative Connectivity Blog: www.nickhunn.com LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/nickhunn Hearables Market Reports: http://bit.ly/hearables2025 http://bit.ly/hearables2020 Thank You. Questions? 21