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New earbuds give you super-hearing

Mike Elgan | Aug. 18, 2015
Ready for hearable computing? Startups are rewriting all the rules for what earbuds can do. You heard it here first, folks.

This new generation of hearables will transform the phone call. One-on-one, in-person conversations will be converted to digital signals and processed just like phone calls are now.

The act of raising a smartphone to one's ear will become obsolete. We'll just tell our virtual assistant who to connect to, and we'll be instantly connected to the person or group we want. A conversation with a friend in a noisy restaurant or in another city will involve the exact same process: We'll simply connect to or isolate that person's voice no matter where they are and just talk. And we won't have to worry about interrupting others, because nearby strangers will be able to tune us out.

The first wave of hearable devices is just the beginning of something wonderful.

Within a few years, intelligent wireless in-ear computers will be able to process all the sound coming in, then customize it for us in real time. And they'll give us an invisible and direct connection to our A.I. assistants and an internet of information and communication like we've never experienced. They'll monitor our vitals and network with our other bodily and personal gadgets, our homes and the Internet of Things devices in our environment.

That's all in the future, though. For now, they can already let you tune out that crying baby.

 

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