Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Apple and ReSound’s New Hearing Aid

Apple together with Danish hearing aid company, GN ReSound has announced a new hearing aid which would be compatible with the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch. Named LiNX, the device can sync wirelessly with Apple’s latest mobile devices taking advantage of the accessibility options of iOS 7 for hearing impaired. The LiNX functions like a hybrid of hearing aids with stereo Bluetooth headphones. It also has the capabilities of streaming phone calls, Face Time chats, movies, music, turn by turn navigation or any other audio directly to a small earpiece and when the hearing aids are not pulling in audio from any tablet or Smartphone, the same works like normal, picking up conversation and the surrounding sounds. Being an Apple products, it is packed with plenty of bells and whistles and a feature called Live Listen turns an iOS device into a microphone.

Streaming Directly from Smartphone’s Mic to the Ears 

When a person is in an environment which would be loud, or a busy meeting or a noisy car and would like to focus on single voice cutting down on the background noise, they can get a stream directly from the Smartphone’s microphone in to their ears. Apple and the device maker are hoping that it will encourage people with hearing problem in getting help with their hearing aids. According to the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorder, more than 36 million people in the US have some sort of hearing loss though few of them who really need a hearing aid actually have them.

Control Device Setting Directly from the Phone 

With the help of GPS, one can save custom settings for any location, a movie etc and get pop up notification on the mobile device asking whether the user would like to switch every time they return to that spot. Most of the advanced current hearing aids tend to draw unwanted attention when people reach out to change the settings and for most of the hearing impaired people, the best advantage of Apple’s hearing aids will help to control the device settings directly from the phone. Wearers can now make adjustments as they can check email or even watch a video with Apple integration. Basic setting such as volume and battery life, are directly built into the operating system of the iOS 7. Apple’s hearing aids are specialized medical devices and one will not find them on the shelves of local Apple store since customers should get their hearing tested and fitted for the devices by an audiologist.

Hearing Aids with System’s Accessibility Features 

With Apple’s added support for the new technology when the iOS7 was released, this seems to be the first hearing aids to really work with many system’s accessibility features. Due to the specialized technology, no third party hearing aid maker can come and create devices which work with iOS 7 without partnering with Apple. Executive of ReSound has not disclosed anything regarding developing hearing aids for Android devices or any other platforms. ReSound has worked for a long time on this new technology and the entry of the hearing aids would be welcomed by many hearing impaired people. Do come back to Macmyth for latest Apple news and information.

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