The Future of Hearables: Who’s Listening?


As hearables join the plethora of IoT devices, our conversations will be overheard and recorded, many times without us being aware of their presence. Whether it is stationary like an Amazon Echo or Google Home or a wearable like a Bluetooth headset, hearables listen, record, and some even have electroencephalography (EEG) technologies that analyze their wearer’s brain waves to identify preferences. Akin to driverless cars, hearables are cutting-edge technologies that are ready for market before regulators and society are ready for them. In a recent IoT News article, As the number of hearables grows, security, privacy, and legal challenges grow with it, Poppy Crum, Chief Scientist, Dolby Laboratories shares the valid ethical, legal, and regulatory concerns for hearables.

Whether it’s enabling real-time translation or recording critical business conversations, the technology capabilities and applications of hearables are exciting. As the technology continues to evolve, so does the importance of addressing legal and ethical questions.  Poppy will provide insight on this topic at the annual SXSW Conference and Festival, March 10-19, 2017. The session, Hearables and the Age of Mediated Listening, is included in the IEEE Tech for Humanity Series at SXSW. For more information please see

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