With Bragi leading the charge, hearables have truly made their presence felt in 2016 but our ears are set to get much, much smarter. Not only are Samsung, Bose and Jabra going all-in on wireless fitness tracking and coaching hearables but startups like Pilot reckon that real-time translation earbuds will become a reality sooner rather than later. The real shift, though, is to always-on, ambient computing that doesn’t disrupt the world around us with distracting displays or gadgets. The ear is the perfect place for AI assistants like Siri, Alexa, Cortana Google Assistant (also on course to get much smarter) to live, weaning us off screens over time. One of the first big hearable releases of 2017 will be Doppler Labs’ wireless Here Ones, which add augmented audio and noise cancelling to voice assistants and music. Seriously smart earbuds are coming.