SAR had an opinion piece published in EE Times this week, full details here.
The article discusses the future of headphones, considering what is next on the horizon, what we and others in the industry are calling Headphone 3.0.
Essentially, we are expected next gen headphones to evolve evermore into ear-worn computers rather than audio players and with this brings a whole new set of requirements. These will become independent devices with a dedicated OS, an apps marketplace and increased processing for biometrics/sensors and connectivity developed beyond Bluetooth.
There are a range of vendors leading the charge, one helping to assist the rollout of Headphone 3.0 by offering a complete solution is Sonical. Some others are focusing on single functions, such as edge AI processing—for example, Syntiant, AONdevices, and Aspinity. The incumbent SoC vendors such as Qualcomm are also pushing the envelope with increasing powerful SoCs.
One newer aspect of this is the need for creation of an OS that can be established across multiple headphone brands. This can open up these ear-worn computing devices to app developers, creating a market likely worth tens of billions of U.S. dollars. There are already many software/apps vendors lining up to make their tech available such as AncSonic, Augmented Hearing, Canary Speech, Segotia, and Thymia.