New Podcast: “Hearables, 5G, and Des Moines”

Our latest Above the Cloud podcast features Part II of a recent LSA analyst team bull session touching on a range of topics in the news and covered on the LSA Insider blog.  In this short episode, we dig into the market opportunity for “hearables” and kick around the real-world implications of 5G.

There is a short digression in the middle on why living in Des Moines, Iowa, is looking pretty good to cash-strapped Bay Area residents.

Here are some highlights from this lively and wide-ranging discussion with Mike Boland, Neal Polachek and myself, as usual with time stamps in case you want to skip around the podcast.

Hearables — Way More Than Fancy Airpods

(Starting at 0:50) ‘Hearables’ is a term that describes not just the devices but the supporting infrastructure that enables audio technology for activities that consumers generally use smartphones and wearables to perform.

Today, Bluetooth headsets are comparable to what the first edition the iPhone could do — make call, play music, surf the web, and a few other things. Hearables make these in-ear devices much more like the latest smartphones, which are location-aware, with have sensors that can measure your vitals and track your movements.

The opportunity is vast, and each of the giants of tech are active players  — Apple, Google, Amazon, Facebook — each with its own angle.

Will 5G Live Up to the Hype?

(Starting at 8:09) Hearables and 5G are closely connected, as Mike notes on the podcast.

“One of the use cases is having these textured audible indications, that will be big in the use cases of local discovery. And that will require millimeter level precision,” Mike said. “It is going to necessitate 5G.”

We also dove into whether 5G will deliver fully on its promise. We were skeptical, but agrees that both carriers and device manufacturers have a strong incentive to see 5G through to increase data consumption and motivate consumers to upgrade their devices in an era of ever-lengthening replacement cycles.

You can listen to the full episode below. We encourage you to subscribe to Above the Cloud. And please rate and review the podcast. 


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