Devices tucked inside your ears will make technology more personal than ever before Illustration: Anders Wenngren
The eyes, it’s been said, are windows to the soul. I’d argue that the real portals are the ears.
Consider that, at this very moment, a cacophony of biological conversations is blasting through dime-size patches of skin just inside and outside the openings to your ear canals. There, blood is coursing through your veins, its pressure rising and falling as you react to stress and excitement, its levels of oxygen changing in response to the air around you and the way your body is using the air you breathe. Here we can also detect the electrical signals that zip through the cortex as it responds to the sensory information around us. And in that patch of skin itself, changing electrical conductivity signals moments of anticipation and emotional intensity.
The ear is like a biological equivalent of a USB port. It is unparalleled not only as a point for “writing” to the brain, as happens when our earbuds transmit the sounds of our favorite music, but also for “reading” from the brain. Soon, wearable devices that tuck into our ears—I call them hearables—will
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