The Future of Wearable Tech Is Called a Hearing Aid #WearableWednesday #MakerBusiness
Bloomberg Businessweek looks at the hearing aid industry and what the future holds. What if they made a hearing aid people wanted before they needed?
Starkey is now the only one of the surviving Big Five manufacturers based in the U.S. What’s thinned the herd of competitors, Sawalich says, is technology. Hearing aids used to be relatively simple, inexpensive to make, and not hugely different from brand to brand. Today they’re an increasingly complex digital product, requiring teams of engineers and robust investment in research and
Sawalich is fond of saying that Starkey makes a product nobody wants. Almost two-thirds of the people in America who need hearing aids don’t have them, and those who do accept their fate wait an average of seven years from the first symptom before seeking help. “With these, hearing aids are going to evolve,” he says, “so that you don’t have to have hearing loss to want a hearing aid.”
“In the next five to seven years, your hearing aids are going to be like Jarvis from Iron Man,” Sawalich says. “It’s going to be your personal assistant. It’s going to know more about what’s going on with your body that you want to know—your heart rate, blood pressure, glucose. The ear is the new wrist.”
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