Wearable technology highlights at CES 2024: from ALS communication tool to lightweight smart glasses

Ming-shan Hsieh, Taipei; Jack Wu, DIGITIMES Asia 0

Credit: University of Bath

At CES 2024, many of the latest wearable technologies were showcased, including an ear-worn device specifically designed for ALS patients, several smart glasses, and potential competitors to Apple's Vision Pro headset.

According to a report from eeNews Europe, UK-based startup Earswitch announced the EarControl technology it developed at the University of Bath, providing a different communication method for people with disabilities. EarControl has built-in sensors that can detect the movements of tiny muscles (tensor tympani muscle) inside the ear to allow users to operate an assistive keyboard.

For neurodegenerative diseases like ALS, the degradation speed of the tensor tympani muscle is the slowest. Besides aiding those with neurological disorders, the development teams believe that EarControl can be applied to ear-based control for smartphones or games.

Dr. Nick Gompertz, founder of EarSwitch, stated that the collaboration with the University of Bath has helped improve EarSwitch's technology and enhance the communication capabilities of ALS patients.

Dr. Ben Metcalfe, deputy director of the Bath Institute for the Augmented Human, expressed his satisfaction with EarSwitch's continuous improvement. They elected to highlight their significant achievements over the past few years at CES 2024. The EarSwitch technology is expected to enhance the quality of life for ALS patients.

The imminent release of Apple's Vision Pro headset device has drawn industry-wide attention. In response to this challenge, several smart glasses providers, including Xreal and RayNeo, exhibited new technologies at CES 2024 to attract consumers with more competitive prices. Xreal collaborated with Qualcomm, and RayNeo showcased its latest smart glasses, emphasizing its ultralight design.

Display technology developers Omnivision and MoJo also introduced new technologies at CES, expecting to significantly improve the display quality of smart glasses while reducing costs and power consumption. These innovations represent technological advancements that also provide consumers with more options and better user experiences.