Summary of the talk "Hearables" by Rory McGreal

Photo: Nobuko Fujita

-    What are they – Hunn 2014 – speaker-microphone in-ear with AI
-    Progressive development from earphones, hearing aids, etc
-    Can monitor:
  • Blood pressure – stress, excitement
  • Etc. ‘Biological Equivalent to a USB port’
  • FDA approval no longer required
  • Could call 911 for you, order you medicine from Amazon
  • Falls
-    Can cancel out background, help hearing, do simultaneous translation

Cool-looking hearables

My contention: we can use for education as well as health
-    Sony Experia Ear
-    Livio (Starkey) – simultaneous translation
-    Ambassador (Waverly Labs) – seems to be the best on the market now

It works – however – it’s not robust – but when it does work, it’s amazing

-    Can focus on sounds we want to hear
-    Reduce unwanted sounds
-    Portable, easy to use

Subset of wearables, also a subset of audibles
-    Intelligent voice recognition
-    Intelligent virtual assistant

IVA&NLU for education
-    Augment intelligence, Direct neural links to info, Humans could surpass AI
-    Can be a personal digital assistant, helping you when you need it
-    In-context learning
-    “Online learning needs to be unmuted, not just typing and clicking” – voice is the most natural form of learning, most intuitive

Example Applications
-    The podcast explosion – more than half of all podcasts are educational podcasts
-    Just-in-time learning, continuous learning, access to the manufacturer, hands-free
-    Self-directed learning (Gibbons, 2002)
-    Personal Learning – Connectivism

-    Privacy – the microphone is always on – will it know what you are thinking?
-    Technical challenges – power, latency, connectivity, memory, space – we’re not there yet
-    Nuisance factor – less discreet, users must speak
-    AI in hearables – ‘think’ the word ?

“Memento Homo” – Remember you are human

I think it will be a revolution, equivalent to the mobile revolution. We’re on the very beginning stages of something very new and very different.

From the discussion: prices coming down from $2000-$3000 to $500 or so.

Image: Lumen Coutre - http://www.lumencouture.com/wearable_tech/smart-earrings-a-hearable-computer-in-your-ear/


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