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“Hearables” Are Here!

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If you’re a fitness technology geek, here’s something to geek out on: By 2022, more than 285 million “hearables” could be in use worldwide. According to a Juniper Research report, shipments of hearables plus clothing-based wearables are expected to increase more than 60% every year between 2018 and 2022.

A hearable is an ear-mounted device that supplies the wearer with aural content or information that is generated either by computations and data on the device itself or by an attached app. Basic Bluetooth headsets do not count. Hearables are “smart” connected devices, often with an integrated voice assistant like Siri or Amazon’s Alexa.

The report, Health & Fitness Wearables: Vendor Strategies, Trends & Forecasts 2018Ð2022, notes that as growth in basic activity trackers has slowed, session-specific wearables—like smart running shoes or gym session monitors—have grown more popular. Many of these devices are using artificial intelligence to provide personal in-the-moment feedback.

With demand for clothing-based wearables and hearables on the rise, market share for general activity trackers is expected to decline, dropping from 40% in 2017 to 28% in 2022. This will be partly because more motivated consumers will choose specialized devices that provide more specific information. Learn more from Fitness Wearables: 3 Must-Haves to Succeed, a Juniper Research Whitepaper, at juniperresearch.com.

Shirley Archer-Eichenberger, JD, MA

Shirley Archer, JD, MA, is an internationally acknowledged integrative health and mindfulness specialist, best-selling author of 16 fitness and wellness books translated into multiple languages and sold worldwide, award-winning health journalist, contributing editor to Fitness Journal, media spokesperson, and IDEA's 2008 Fitness Instructor of the Year. She's a 25-year industry veteran and former health and fitness educator at the Stanford Prevention Research Center, who has served on multiple industry committees and co-authored trade books and manuals for ACE, ACSM and YMCA of the USA. She has appeared on TV worldwide and was a featured trainer on America's Next Top Model.

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