Research and consulting firm from Cambridge (UK), IDTechEx Research, has published a report on the headphone market. Its employees interviewed more than 20 companies, including: major market players such as Bose, Starkey, Widex, Oticon and Sonova; developers of Well Being Digital and RelaJet technologies; famous startups Nuheara, Olive Union and others.
The rapid development of in-ear headphones, in fact, began 10 years ago. According to IDTechEx, outstanding models have been created as a result – for example, Apple AirPods, launched in December 2016. The TWS headphone market has grown from zero to over $ 11 billion in 2020.
On the other hand, the development of hearing aids has been going on for over 100 years and remains stable. Added to this is the Pew Research data, according to which about one in five Americans now wears a fitness tracker or activity tracker on their wrist. This market has also become saturated and ripe for innovation.
Here, according to IDTechEx Research, the possibilities of in-ear headphones will appear. After all, anatomically, the ear is the ideal place for sensors. It is ready to become a source of high quality biometric signals.
Poppy Crum, chief scientist at Dolby Laboratories and an associate professor at Stanford, believes the ear can provide data on heart rate, blood oxygen levels, temperature, hormone levels, brain electrical activity, and more. There are other possibilities as well. Cornell University, for example, is trying to use hearing aids to track and translate facial expressions.
Hearables 2020–2030: Technology, Players and Forecasts outlines this as the future of in-ear headphones. IDTechEx predicted that the biosensor headphone market will reach more than $5 billion by 2030.