MEMS-based headphones for the Internet of Voice
Applications for improved quality of life
Voice-based internet services are increasingly accepted by many users as a central component of future data processing. For example, in the car, in the smartphone and in the living room. Likewise, renowned hardware and content providers are directing their business towards such products, which are also used in internet-capable mobile devices worn directly in the ear. Today, numerous voice-based services are available. Examples include simultaneous translators, payment services and marketing solutions. The vision of an Internet-of-Voice permanently worn in the ear is thus taking shape. Hearables, which are predestined for this, are increasingly claiming the inheritance of smartphones and emancipating themselves from the less smart Bluetooth headsets.
In future, hearables will not only contain audio technologies, but also powerful processors for data processing and will be directly connected to the internet via radio interfaces. Similar to the GPU for smartphone displays, the processors (in addition to the wireless interfaces) will dominate the energy requirements of future hearables and thus their runtime. Since the space and thus the capacity of the battery in the ear is very limited, all other components will have to get by with a very small energy budget in order to enable a sufficient runtime. Fraunhofer IPMS has developed a new, power-efficient sound transducer principle for a central core component of the hearables - the in-ear loudspeaker.