The Internet of Things (IoT) has evolved since 1999 and it’s only now that hearing-devices and hearables are starting to interoperate with door bells, smoke and house alarm systems.
Consumer Technology As A Driver
Wire-free technology provider Energous, is gearing to ship its WattUp product to wirelessly charge phones and multiple IoT devices such as hearables over-the-air (at a distance).
By 2023, the global medical wearables market is tipped to reach $10.7 billion (MedGadget) with hearing-device providers pressured to open operating systems to peripheral devices.
Calls on the consumer electronics industry to reduce hearables to the price of a phone come from Silicon Valley veteran KR Liu, after lifelong hearing issues. An example of open systems, Pebble smart watches remotely control hearing-aids and convert text-to-speech.
Apple Connects To BAHA Devices
This year, Apple launched the first BAHA hearing-devices that interoperate with the iPhone. Wearers of the BAHA can stream music, phone calls, audio and voicemails from their iPhones or tablets, with an app to manage the volume, bass and treble elements
Oticon’s Project ON
Hearing-device maker Oticon launched project ON, under the IoT “If This, Then That” initiative, to link its products to home systems and redefine hearing-devices as wearables. When a doorbell or baby alarm dings, a hearing-aid can ping to alert its wearer to the sound, or a text alert can go to a phone when a battery is running low.
Eventually, Oticon expects its hearing-devices to work as wireless headsets (or hearables) to de/activate house lights, alarm or heating systems when a wearer leaves their home.