With your FitBit on your waistband and your smartwatch on your wrist, you might be wondering where else you can attach your quantified-self tools. Your ear is being considered as a worthy candidate.
Steven LeBoeuf, president of Valencell, a wearable biometrics company, tells Technology Review that the ear is the next frontier for tracking heart rate, temperature, respiration rate, energy expenditure, oxygen consumption, calories burned, and other biological and physiological signals.
TR reports that Valencell’s PerformTek technology is “being used for a growing number of ear-worn devices, including LG’s Heart Rate Monitor Earphone and iRiver’s iRiverON Heart Rate Monitoring Bluetooth Headset” as well as for earbuds that Intel is developing and previewed at the 2014 International Consumer Electronics Show. Beyond monitoring everyday fitness, LeBoeuf tells TR that the technology could “monitor the condition of soldiers and firefighters” or read and reflect a game player’s mood in their virtual character.