back to article 'Earworn Wearables' will save the day (wireless earbuds, but cool name for your D&D halfling)

The wearables market is popping, if you believe the latest report from entrail prodders at Gartner: the sector will might be worth an impressive $52bn by 2020, up from $32bn in 2018. Gartner predicts much of that expansion will be driven by what it deems "earworn wearables". It uses this somewhat clunky term to describe the …

  1. Benson's Cycle

    Mordor Intelligence?

    Really? They'll presumably be predicting a sharp uptick in smartrings and a lot of demand for spherical mobile phones.

    1. tmTM

      Re: Mordor Intelligence?

      More like an attempt to justify an already flagging market by simply re-labelling everything as a wearable.

    2. macjules Silver badge
      Coat

      Re: Mordor Intelligence?

      "Microsoft Augmented Products"

      Would those be anything starting with the word "Surface"?

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

  2. Chris G Silver badge

    Entrail prodders

    I the El Reg has whacked the nail on the head, qll of these predicktions have about the same reliability as a shaman on 'shrooms.

    " I saw a crow sitting on a blackened perch in a dark room last night and all I could see of it was it's coal black eyes.......when the sun sets tonight it may never rise.... blah blah.."

    1. Benson's Cycle

      Re: Entrail prodders

      Oh come now. Shamans on mushrooms have a fairly good track record, which is why shamanism has lasted a lot longer than reading marketing entrails, so far.

  3. Korev Silver badge
    Stop

    "Earworn Wearables" & "wristband-based wearable tech"

    What's wrong with the words "headphones" and "watches"?

    1. JDX Gold badge

      They're not the right words? Headphones are things you wear over your head... watches are devices whose purpose is to tell the time. Using those terms for anything that goes in your ears or on your wrist is inaccurate.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Simple definition *but* doesn't sound futuristic (Fabtastic !!!)

        "They're not the right words? Headphones are things you wear over your head... watches are devices whose purpose is to tell the time. Using those terms for anything that goes in your ears or on your wrist is inaccurate."

        Simples .....

        Earphones [covers *both* in the ear & on the ear types]

        Wristband x [where 'x' is the function]

        All I can say is 'Earworm Wearables' is more accurate !!!! :)

        1. Khaptain Silver badge
          Headmaster

          Re: Simple definition *but* doesn't sound futuristic (Fabtastic !!!)

          The idea of having worms wearing high tech gear in your ears is kind of creepy...

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Simple definition *but* doesn't sound futuristic (Fabtastic !!!)

            Khaptain,

            Look up 'Earworm' via google et al

            [One or other of us has missed the joke somewhere !!! :) ]

          2. Sgt_Oddball Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: Simple definition *but* doesn't sound futuristic (Fabtastic !!!)

            Tech worms at that... I've seen enough Japanese special interest material to see where that's going...

        2. Kernel Silver badge

          Re: Simple definition *but* doesn't sound futuristic (Fabtastic !!!)

          "All I can say is 'Earworm Wearables' is more accurate !!!! :)"

          I think most of us who wear hearing aids would agree with 'earworms' - the receiver-in-ear types, in particular, can worm their way quite deep into your ears during the course of the day.

      2. dajames Silver badge

        They're not the right words?

        So what?

        "Personal Computer" is hardly an accurate description of the networked multi-user system that sits on your desk (and does so much more than compute), but it's the one we use.

    2. ThatOne Silver badge
      Devil

      Not new

      "Earworn Wearables" include earmuffs and earrings, which exist since antiquity.

      (And the animal skin our neolithic ancestors covered themselves with qualifies as "wearable" too. They never knew how hip and smart they were...)

      1. Khaptain Silver badge

        Re: Not new

        Effectively we learn a little bit more each day

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Earworm

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Not new

          Wouldn't a furry earworm be an earwig?

          A massive benefit for those young hipster who don't have the same fabulously luxuriant ear fur that us oldies have.

    3. Stoneshop Silver badge
      WTF?

      "Earworn Wearables"

      FRTA 'earworm wearables'

    4. Duffy Moon

      I just refer to them as "idiot earplugs"

      1. Clunking Fist Bronze badge

        Expensive involuntary expendables?

  4. JDX Gold badge

    Head mounted displays

    For a moment I thought they were talking about hats. Now a baseball cap with an e-ink panel you can edit from your app... there's an idea!

    1. Allan George Dyer Silver badge

      Re: Head mounted displays

      I had to lookup what "head-mounted displays" were, and I'm most disappointed that it isn't either a projector shining on nearby walls or people, or technology to display images on your face (a great saving in makeup, or lucrative if you sell it as advertising space).

    2. Benson's Cycle

      Re: Head mounted displays

      It should link to a database and GPS to find out local voting intentions, so you could automatically switch to MAGA mode when the necks are red. Protective self-adapting camouflage.

  5. Tromos

    I remember the days...

    ...when smart clothing was something like a well tailored jacket. Also, being greeted with "You're looking smart today." did not mean you'd just entered the room festooned with LCD displays and a couple of aerials sticking out of your head.

  6. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    They call that smart ?

    "Tommy Jeans [..] included chips in some of its products that allow the user to track how frequently they're wearing a particular garment"

    That is what we are polluting the environment for now ? A chip that can tell you how many times you wore something, wow. Gobsmacking. How utterly useless.

    You want to put intelligence in clothes ? Make chips that can tell if the shirt goes with the pants. Make chips that bleep when garish color combinations are being chosen. Make chips that tell you "Alert : clothes tissue is stretching beyond advisable limits - choose larger size".

    That would be smart.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge
      WTF?

      Re: They call that smart ?

      I guess that the idea is that, if you hardly ever wear whatever it is, Mari Kondo comes round and chucks it out for you.

    2. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: They call that smart ?

      A sure fire seller for the ladies and probably a fair few men,would be a smart chip to answer the question " Does my arse look big in this?"

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They call that smart ?

        In the case of Kim K it would be "Does my arse look small in this"

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They call that smart ?

        Chris G,

        "A sure fire seller for the ladies and probably a fair few men,would be a smart chip to answer the question " Does my arse look big in this?""

        You do know that the 'Smart Chip' would be programmed to *always* answer 'Yes' ..... as this would double sales at least !!! :)

        P.S. With most women it would be 'Triple' as they would buy one item in the larger size (just 'in case' the answer given by the smart chip is right) and one item in size 8* (because 'I always used to be a size 8*' and I am *sure* it is just a sizing error !!! :) )

        * substitute whatever size they were at 'true age' 16 :)

      3. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge

        Re: Does my arse look big in this?

        There's nothing smart enough to safely answer that quesion.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: They call that smart ?

      Pascal Monett,

      The most useful one would be ...... 'Alert: Paper Tissue left in pocket' .... before putting item in the wash !!!! :) ;)

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    4. D@v3

      Re: They call that smart ?

      how about a sensor that tells you when you have left a scrunched up piece of paper in a pocket when you try to put something in the wash.

      @AC. You got in there before i had a chance to submit.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: They call that smart ?

        D@v3,

        So it is not just me then !!! :)

        Even more annoying is when the previous user had the problem and you pick up the residual 'paper' left in the machine. :)

        1. Montreal Sean

          Re: They call that smart ?

          The number of times my oldest son has done this is beyond belief.

          Last time we made him go through every piece of clean clothing from the load and remove every little bit of tissue paper.

          He was not happy. Hopefully he's learned the lesson. :)

    5. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
      Terminator

      Re: Make chips that bleep when garish color combinations are being chosen

      Sounds like Clippy for Clothing.

      "I see you've gotten dressed in the dark again. Would you like me to call the fashion police?"

  7. ArrZarr Silver badge
    Coat

    Well, of course virtual reality will take off between 2019 and 2024, we have the NerveGear coming out in 2022 and ALO/the AmuSphere coming out in 2023.

    I can dream, can't I?

    1. iron Silver badge

      I don't think I'd advise buying a NerveGear though, there may be one or two fatal teething problems. ;)

      1. ArrZarr Silver badge

        Hell, I'd probably have begged/borrowed/stolen one of the deceased's nervegears after the first month and joined them all in candyland.

  8. juice Silver badge

    I wonder if the uptick in sales...

    Is because these new devices are fundamentally more fragile and have a much lower MTBF?

    After all, things like Apple's earbuds are absolute miracles of modern technology: they pack in a microphone, a speaker, a bluetooth receiver *and* a wireless charging system and a battery. Oh, and optical sensors, accelerometers and various other gadgets intended to support the "It Just Works" Apple ethos.

    https://www.ifixit.com/Teardown/AirPods+Teardown/75578

    That's a huge number of components - and with just a 5 hour battery life, the battery may well be charged/discharged multiple times a day, which takes it's toll on their capacity. E.g.

    https://appleinsider.com/articles/19/03/11/heres-why-your-airpods-battery-life-is-getting-worse-and-what-you-can-do-about-it

    Meanwhile, my old fashioned wired headphones just have a couple of speakers and a bit of wire. And cost significantly less, to boot ;)

    1. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

      Re: Meanwhile, my old fashioned wired headphones...

      The other advantage of your old fashioned wired headphones it that you probably don't look like an utter twat whilst wearing them... probably. I still use wired headphones because for me it's all about the sound reproduction rather than the aesthetic.

      1. juice Silver badge

        Re: Meanwhile, my old fashioned wired headphones...

        > The other advantage of your old fashioned wired headphones it that you probably don't look like an utter twat whilst wearing them... probably

        No more or less than I do when not wearing them ;)

        It's mostly about practicality, for me. I can use my wired headphones on my antique iPod, my phone and my laptop without having to prat about with Bluetooth[*].

        At work, I spend most of my day listening to music while writing comments on The Regist^H beavering away at code. Having to stop every few hours to recharge would mean getting (even more) distracted by the constant background chatter/banter in our openplan office. And equally, using a wired connection means there isn't any additional power drain on the device playing the music.

        Away from work, I generally don't use headphones, unless travelling long distance. In which case, the same recharge-time and power-drain concerns apply as per above - plus, I'm not too keen on flashing potentially expensive tech around, as it's a potential weighting factor in the "muggable" calculations performed by unsavory people in many major cities[**].

        [*] Said laptop is an IBM Thinkpad running Ubuntu. Admittedly, I haven't actually tried to use BT on this beastie, but it's been a royal PITA with many other things and BT is notoriously difficult to get working on Linux...

        [**] The bars in Barcelona are all in the "old town", which is a warren of little passages. Once night falls, there are often people on the corners of these passages, looking out for tourists. Some sell beer or water, some sell more interesting goods and services. And more than a few just watched with a very calculating eye. I saw a lot of "abandoned" handbags and got followed more than a few times by increasingly aggressive/pushy people. It's generally ok if you're in a group, but if you're walking around solo, I wouldn't even pull a phone out, never mind using earphones of any kind...

  9. Unep Eurobats
    Boffin

    'somewhat clunky term'

    Too right. 'Earworn wearables' is also a tautology. Trouble is, 'earwear' sounds a bit odd, just like a sort of noise, a posh 'ooh err'.

    Still clunky, but how about 'earworn insertables', to distinguish them from traditional over-ear headphones?

    1. dajames Silver badge
      Headmaster

      Re: 'somewhat clunky term'

      Trouble is, 'earwear' sounds a bit odd, ...

      It's spelt a bit odd, too ... how about "earware" (if you must).

    2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

      Re: 'somewhat clunky term'

      'Earworn wearables' is also a tautology.

      It's also an anagram of "Beware anal rowers".

  10. BigSLitleP Silver badge

    "The Tragic Journey of Earworn Wearables"

    If you call your Halfling "Earworn Wearables", you're not sitting at my table....

    If you play a Halfling, you're not sitting at my table......

    TBF, If you play D&D, you're not sitting at my table.

    1. Jimmy2Cows Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: "The Tragic Journey of Earworn Wearables"

      And you're posting on a tech site???

      1. BigSLitleP Silver badge
        Devil

        Re: "The Tragic Journey of Earworn Wearables"

        Pfft, nerds like fantasy, all the cool kids like scifi.

  11. Shadow Systems Silver badge

    There's only one thing I want to stick in my ear.

    A Babelfish.

  12. Stoneshop Silver badge

    Driving this shift is technological advancements,

    There's a superfluous 'f' in the third word, and what's driving it is marketing

  13. Jason Bloomberg Silver badge
    Coat

    In one ear and out the other

    I am not convinced Xiaomi's earthings at £25, being a lot cheaper than Apple's £250 earthings, is a sound basis for predicting a multi-billion boom in the sector.

    I'll stick to my £2 Asda earthings which are surprisingly good for the price, and far better than the wireless ones I have.

    There's no need to charge them, no great loss or cost if I lose them, and if one does drop out an ear it's attached to the other like gloves tied through a Parka, and tied to the player so little chance of loss anyway. And they work with everything I own without requiring anything to have a Bluetooth interface.

    I'll wear them proudly while taking my Casio off my wrist to check my pulse after a jog round the block the good old fashioned way.

    Still; I'd love to hear Gartner on proposals for tampons without string.

  14. Joe Gurman

    Earables?

    Has version 1.0 of the Babelfish been released yet?

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