The Future of Wearable Tech Is Called a Hearing Aid

Even if your ears are fine, some hearing aid companies are betting that you might want a device that translates languages, tracks fitness, and monitors vital signs.

Sawalich pulls an iPhone out of his jacket pocket and opens an app called Thrive, built to accompany this paradigm shift of a product. The Livio AI, as the new device is called, uses tiny sensors plus, as its name suggests, artificial intelligence to selectively filter noise and focus on specific sound sources—for instance, the person across the table in a busy restaurant—while also tracking various health metrics, including steps walked, stairs climbed, and cognitive activity, such as how much the wearer is talking and engaging with other humans. It also does near-instantaneous translation of 27 languages and will, after a forthcoming update, measure heart rate. The cost is next-level, too: $2,500 to $3,000 per hearing aid or more.


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