IBM partnership puts Watson in your ear to help you at work

Bragi's smart earbuds could translate your coworkers, give you instructions and more.

Smart earphones like Bragi's Dash aren't just for personal activities like music and running -- they could also help you get some serious work done. Bragi and IBM are partnering on ways to combine "hearables" like the Dash with Watson's Internet of Things platform to help you communicate and collaborate with your teammates. The Watson supercomputer could translate what you're saying for a coworker, for instance, or give you instructions and smart notifications. Higher-ups could benefit, too -- they could get a sense of your location and safety without relying so much on cameras, or have you authenticate with your voice.

There's no firm roadmap for bringing the technology to market. You probably won't get a company-issued Dash the next time you come to work, then. However, Bragi says the team-up's current goals are "short and medium term." It may not be too long before you're regularly wearing earbuds in certain working conditions.