CES has a multitude of wearables out there for athletes, runners, bikers, long-distance hikers -- it’s enough to make you tired just thinking about it. Last night, at the Pepcom press event, an eager PR guy asked me, “When you run, how often do you wonder how fast you’re going?” Since the last time I ran anywhere, it was to catch a bus, I wasn’t sure what to say.
So for a moment, I’m going to talk instead to those of us over the age of, say, 35. Let’s be honest here: If you’ve spent your life listening to pounding rock music, especially if you’ve done it using earphones or earbuds, how long do you think it’s going to be before you start wondering what the guy at the other end of the boardroom table is saying? At what point will you not hear the guy in the next cube asking for an extra USB cable?
Next to reading glasses, hearing aids have to be one of the most resisted health aids -- it is not only a confirmation that you are no longer 25, but it proves what your parents always told you: Listen to that music and you’re gonna lose your hearing.
A couple of companies here at CES are trying to at least make using a hearing aid cool enough so that those who are finding it hard to hear the booth sales people over the hubbub on the floor may consider getting help.
For example, a company called ReSound has a line of hearing aids that offer iOS and Android apps that connect to the aids through Bluetooth and allow users to control factors such as volume and treble/bass. What is more -- and what may be more persuasive for reluctant consumers -- you can use it as a headset for your phone or tablet to listen to audio. Another company, Siemans, also offers apps for one of its latest hearing aids.
I’m being a bit facetious here, but the fact is that current wearable technology is being developed in a number of ways that will enhance the lives of both those of us who are working to keep our current well-being and those who need the help of that technology to enhance our productivity and health.
Certainly, as I prepare to enter the first full day of CES, with its crowds, huge booths, and extremely loud presentations, I’ll probably be reminded that wearable technology isn’t just for checking your pulse after a five-mile run.