Where technology is concerned, speed and integration are the names of the game. We look at our smartphones possibly hundreds of times per day, and a pet industry of accessory devices seems to have been waiting in the wings since at least the mid-2000s to jump in and help us get more done without always having to visit our phones.
A History of Integrated Smartphone Accessories
Most of us remember Google Glass, a pair of glasses that integrated with smartphones to augment the world, “Terminator”-style, as we move through it. The idea was that information would be displayed on a see-through screen so we could take in the world while also seeing the data about it that the internet has to offer, while also letting us communicate via Bluetooth without having to reach for our phones. This technology proved too invasive for most users, who preferred not to see the world through Google-colored glasses!
For a number of years, Apple Watch has been one of the most popular smartphone accessories. While paired with your iPhone, you can use it to send quick texts, answer calls, and track biometric data to keep track of your health. But quickly gaining on Apple Watch’s popularity is a host of “hearables.” Hearables perform similar tasks while paired with your smartphone, but use audio only. Breakthroughs in artificial intelligence and smart speaker technology have allowed headphones and earbuds to become extremely powerful, while growing familiarity with smart speakers (like Alexa) have primed us to use hands-off interfacing with the internet.
The Rise of Hearables
The growth of the technology—along with big tech’s awareness that consumers are accustomed to it—has led to an explosion of hearables in the marketplace. Smart headphones have moved quickly from “what if” to “what next,” and each year they become more capable. In fact, the difference between a pair of hearables and a pair of hearing aids is becoming blurred, while many hearing aids offer the same kind of integration that hearables do.
A pair of well-equipped hearables will offer exquisite sound quality and connection to the devices you use most, while also integrating with voice activation to allow internet browsing and shopping, as well as tracking biometric data to let you use smart apps to keep track of your exercise and wellness routines. Porting this technology over to hearing aids, or adding listening functionality to hearables, seems to be one of the simpler solutions in the recent history of R&D.
The biggest issue facing hearables is the same as the biggest issue that has long-faced hearing aids: the sensitive electronics inside have to live inside the relatively inhospitable environment of our ears. What’s more, we tend to get so used to wearing them that it’s common to step out into the rain with them in, or even into the shower!
Redux Helps Maintain and Repair Sensitive Instruments
Fortunately, the Redux company has created a new drying technology that is more effective than anything available before now. The process offers 100% moisture removal in about 15 minutes, and is effective both as a routine preventative measure and in cases where the instrument has been accidentally soaked through.
Redux machines are available at a host of hearing healthcare centers and other outlets around the country. The machine uses patented technology to apply a safe level of heat evenly to the contents of the box, while using a vacuum process to remove all moisture. Sensors inside the box measure the moisture content being removed so you can be sure to have reached 100% moisture removal by the end of the process.
Everyone’s ears are different. Some of us produce more earwax or perspiration than others. For this reason, you may wish to make use of the Redux process on a different schedule than someone else. The important thing is that with regular use of the Redux process, you can keep your hearables functioning like new throughout their lifespan by routinely removing any accumulated moisture.
The process has also been shown to effectively save smartphones, tablets, and other electronic devices that have been accidentally submerged. Talk to your hearing healthcare professional or electronics provider about acquiring a Redux machine, so they can help you keep your hearables, hearing aids, or other sensitive electronics in good working order.