We are seeing a convergence of hearing technologies, from consumer grade hearables, to over the counter devices through to medical grade hearing aids. Additionally, with the incorporation of voice technologies into everyday products, the market is trending towards a voice driven market.
The integration of voice capabilities into everyday products, coupled with the convenience and portability of hearing devices, opens up the space for hearing technologies to assist and be the prime conduit for voice technologies.
There are a range of factors that play into how voice technology is accessed and used that cannot be discussed in this introductory synopsis. One of many reasons our ears and voice are being commodified in the ecosystem I have described above is largely due to the benefits voice technology offers in shifting away from screen time and increasing our ability to access content in this way.
Another reason is the improvement in access, cost to produce these products and micro economic trends of materials to produce these technologies and how we, the end user, behaves.
This combination of hearing technology plus smart speaker use, via an application off your smart phone allows the user to remain connected and live in a voice accessible world.
Hearing technology and voice assisted devices are going to have an impact on our lifestyle, habits and behaviours sooner than we expect. A key question and area of design to consider is: how may this merging of technologies address hearing or hearing loss?
This is an exciting era for our ears as we see the market trend towards wearing devices on and in our ears.
Kat Penno, Telehealth Audiologist & Founder of The Hearing Collective