The Hearables: The Upcoming Augmented Audio Reality Product


A couple of years back, Pokemon Go gave a tough competition between business and technology. Developed by the American firm Niantic in partnership with The Pokemon Company, the game used ‘augmented reality’ as a technology to enable its users to interpret the world in a digital environment using their smartphones. The game that received the BBC Radio 1st Teen Awards in 2016 was the first to bring augmented reality to the world of technology.

Although they got the First mover advantage, yet, they had set a benchmark for the beginning of the new competition, a race for development in Technology. Presently, the application of Augmented Reality has become broad-based. Most multinational companies use technology to improve their consumer engagement and services. For instance, IKEA has created an application utilizing virtual reality that allows its consumers to virtually imagine furniture environments in their homes. Another alternative will be Loreal’s You Cam software, which helps the user to check beauty items using a mobile.

Given all these advancements, industry and electronics firms are showing high interest in yet another innovative product: “the Hearables”. This product would be yet another innovation in the area of “Audio-Augmented Reality”. Markets and the researchers estimate that by 2030, the global size of AR-based hearing aids will be USD 23.24 billion, with CAGRs increasing by 9.98 percent from 2017-2030. 

What is Augmented Reality?

People often assume “virtual reality” and “augmented reality” to be the same. But both technologies are not the same. Virtual reality is a technology that allows users to interact with the 3D world. Virtual reality and augmented reality, given the identical designs of the systems, do entirely separate tasks in two completely different styles. Virtual reality replaces the reality, and shows the users something which is designed yet, may not be the reality. Augmented Reality contributes to the truth, adding knowledge beyond what the users have always seen. They are both strong innovations that are yet to make their mark on customers.

Augmented Reality often shows the possible reality of a simulated entity by utilizing a 3D model based on the real-time conditions by applying realistic details to a camera or headset monitor.

The architecture of Audio Augmented Reality 

1) Hardware – Hardware comprises a Card, a data processor, a camera, a charger, an amplifier, and a microphone array. The fitting of all these instruments is quite complicated, and thus the hardware engineer is responsible for compiling all the objects and to organize the PCB Design. The experts would then evaluate the PCB signal and may apply a workaround to speed up the different device functions. The final step depends on the tech vendor to process the resources to enhance the optimal features of the hearing object. 

2) Embedded Software — Communication between software and hardware can be initiated with the help of a software engineer, who would be able to embed the required software inside the Hearable. These directions involve storing, sorting, analyzing data, sharing knowledge, and integrating the solution with other tools.

3) Infrastructure– The back end architecture includes the restoration, analysis, and creation of end-point data, which can be achieved by improving the application logic.

4) Mobile Application-This allows users access to settings and configuration so that they can view sensor data on their phone and comfortably control the device.

Applications of Augmented Audio Reality

1) AI-Based Noise Cancellation – The Noise Cancellation System has a multi-microphone system that is controlled by an Effective Noise Cancellation (ANC) algorithm that distinguishes the intended audio from the background noise. Some examples of such products are Bose Headphones, which use virtual reality for noise reduction, and Nuheara IQ headphones.

2) In-ear Voice Recognition Device- This type of technology is controlled by two components:

(a) The Language Identification System (LID) recognizes a foreign language.

(b) Automatic speech recognition for the translation of phonetic speech into terms accomplished by the NLP algorithm. This converts a foreign language and offers two means of interpreting it into different languages concurrently.

3) Smart Hearing Aids – This technology has helped to bring out an ideal sound and suppress the echo by equipping the user with a directional microphone. The example of the assistance from Smart Hearing is the Olive Union.


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