Why Airpods And Other Earbuds Are Bad For Your Hearing
Headphones, in and of themselves, are not a risk. You could listen all day at a low-to-middle volume without health worries. It’s only once you start listening to loud volumes for sustained periods of time that they can start damaging your ears.
And the type of headphones that are the most likely to cause hearing problems are these earbuds. A 2007 study found that adults turn up their music louder when they’re wearing earbuds than over-the-ear headphones. It also discovered that users wearing earbuds were more likely to turn up their volume to compensate for background noise (in this case, street noise and “multi-talker babble”) than people wearing over-the-ear headphones. A further study, from 2011, expanded on that research, finding that teens wearing earbuds turn their volume up to overcome background noise, some to harmful levels, more than those wearing noise-isolating, over-the-ear headphones.
Brian Fligor, an audiologist who has studied the impact of earbuds on hearing damage, says that people typically listen to their earbuds about 13 decibels higher than the background noise. If you’re wearing headphones or earbuds in a school classroom, where the background noise usually runs at about 60 decibels, and you turn your music up to 73 decibels to compensate, that should be fine for most people’s ears. But if you’re in a noisy coffee shop, where background noise is usually about 70 decibels, or on an airplane, where the noise typically reaches 80 decibels, things get dicey. “When the background noise induces [people] to listen 13 decibels louder than the background and the background is 70 decibels, now we’re talking about potential to do damage,” he says.
Public transportation is “the number one time and place for you to be exposed,” says Fligor. Noise level on subway platforms and inside trains is 94 decibels, and 20 percent of those spaces exceed 100. Add 13 decibels from turning up your earbuds, and we’re at anywhere from 107 to 113 decibels, yet people can only safely be exposed to 100-plus decibels for 15 minutes a day.
You can see the problem.
It’s likely that earbuds are contributing to widespread hearing damage among younger people. According to the American Osteopathic Association, approximately one in five teens today suffer some form of hearing damage, a rate that’s 30 percent higher than it was 20 years ago. The World Health Organization estimates that over “1 billion young people” are at risk of hearing loss, primarily from listening to music on headphones or earbuds.
Adults, meanwhile, have experienced a leveling out in hearing loss — but societal factors indicate that that rate should have gone down, not stayed the same. “We’ve outsourced a lot of our manufacturing jobs and that’s where a lot of noise-induced hearing loss was coming from,” Fligor says. Disregarding hearing loss among those serving in the military, which is on the increase, people are generally much healthier than they were in past decades, and therefore, “our rate of hearing loss should be going down, and we know that it’s not,” says Fligor.
It’s a whole lot cheaper to protect your hearing than it is to try to remediate your hearing,” says Fligor. “Hearing is outrageously precious. People take it for granted, they lose it, and then you can’t get it back.”
Dear readers, what do you think about this?
Apple Plans To Release It's First Ever AR Smart Glasses
Whether you like it or not, Apple is gearing up to release its first-ever AR smart glasses. Apple Glass, Apple’s elusive AR lens project is all set to debut soon. The AR and VR industry has matured over the past few years. Apple stepping in with a pair of Apple Glasses could be a gamechanger.
Apple has been exploring VR and AR (Argumented & Virtual Reality) technologies for more than 10 years now. The company has established a secret research division comprising of hundreds of employees in designing Apple’s next big thing. It was even rumored that organizations like NASA and Microsoft are involved in developing these smart glasses. Based on rumors, Apple has chosen to call its AR smart glasses as Apple Glass.
Here’s everything you need to know about Apple Glass.
The glasses are said to look similar to regular glasses, with both lenses to feature displays that can be interacted with using gestures. Recent leaks based on the prototypes suggest that the material used would be plastic. But in the release variant, Apple might use metal. The glasses might also come with a plastic stand with wireless chargers.
Apple glass at least the first edition of it could more or less work like Apple Watch Series 0. Apple Glass could be marketed as an iPhone accessory similar to what Apple did with Watch Series 0. Apple Glass will primarily take a display role offloading computing, networking, and positioning to the iPhone. This will allow Apple to reduce the weight and size of the glasses.
There is a rumor that Apple is working on a limited-edition “Steve Jobs Heritage” version of the smart glasses that are designed to look like the round, frameless glasses that Steve Jobs used to wear, but Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman has called this rumor “complete fiction.”
As of now, there have been little to no leaks about the specs and hardware of the smartglasses. According to a few rumors, Apple glass will feature an 8K display for each eye. Apple glass will automatically adjust for people with poor eyesight.
Ming-Chi Kuo, an Apple analyst predicts that Apple Glass won’t have any kind of processor. He states that the first-gen Apple glasses will be heavily dependent on the iPhone, with the AR glasses essentially only providing the display.
It could feature a LiDAR scanner similar to the iPad Pro 2020 variant. It is used to determine distance by measuring how long it takes light to reach an object and reflect. It’s an efficient way to get a much more accurate 3D representation of the scene in front of the camera, which is useful in computational photography and especially in augmented reality. Which eliminates the need for cameras in the smart glasses.
According to Bloomberg, Apple glasses will run on some version of OS based on iOS. Probably they will name it the glass OS to maintain similarity among their operating systems.
Apple Glass will bring information from your phone to your face. With Apple’s integration, the glasses will be able to synchronize with a wearer’s iPhone to display things such as texts, emails, and maps over the user’s field of vision.
The iPhone has Springboard, the set of icons that act as your home screen. Apple’s glasses have “Starboard.” No interface elements have leaked or even been described, but it is assumed that Apple will adapt its iconography and UI for an AR interface.
ARKit 4 helps in creating a new way to access the detailed depth information gathered by the LiDAR Scanner. Location Anchoring leverages the higher resolution data in Apple Maps to place AR experiences at a specific point in the world in Apple Glass. This feature will allow more immersive AR experiences and give the application a better understanding of the environment for object placement and occlusion.
Release date & Pricing
Though there were rumors that Apple could debut it’s AR glasses alongside iPhone 12 as “One More Thing.” As the 2020 lineup is completely stacked Apple might reconsider releasing it. Rumors predict that Apple might unveil Apple glass in 2021 and then release it for the masses in 2022.
According to Jon Prosser, a tech analyst Apple glass is priced at $499 without prescription lenses. The price of the Apple glass is quite low in comparison to Microsoft’s AR headsets priced at $3500. Apple Glass price is low because most of the computing, networking, and positioning are offloaded to the iPhone.
From Google Glass and Snapchat spectacles to Microsoft Holo lens and Facebook’s upcoming AR glasses, many have tried and are trying to make this technology work. But so far there hasn’t been any mainstream success. With Apple Glass, Apple may very well change that.
Apple has always been great at making complex innovation more user-friendly and simpler. Apple Glass could very well be the Next Big Thing for Apple. What do you guys think about all this? Are you excited? Let me know in the comments section.