The days of uncool hearing aids are gone!
…and the stigma of hearing loss is settling quickly into the dust of the past. That is true because Apple, the symbol of cool consumer electronics, is working with hearing aid manufacturers to create “Made For iPhone (MFI)” hearing aids with for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch through Bluetooth wireless technology. That’s right…no wires…cool!
But what if you don’t use an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch?
Don’t worry! Similar technology can, or soon will achieve the same bluetooth options, using the Android operating system. Last September, Phonak (a major hearing aid manufacturer) debuted the first Made For Android (MFA) hearing aids, the Audio B-Direct, along with a ground-breaking new operating system. Unlike MFi hearing aids however, the Audio B-Direct can only connect directly to a smartphone to stream sound, so you will still need an external streaming device to get music and other functionality. But technology will continue to solve connectivity and other problems, so remain alert for what’s coming around the corner. In any case, whether it’s streaming audio from Skype calls, a TV, MP3 player, smartphone, or other computing device, or connecting directly to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, you can bring the world to your hearing aids…and that is cool!
How is this new technology changing everything?
Control! Traditional hearing aids offered limited user control because the electronics and buttons were restricted to hearing aids the size of a kidney bean. But that has changed with wireless connectivity and a growing market of hearing apps, which allow hearing aids to be managed…without wires…by smart phones and other devices. Cool!
What does this mean for YOU?
Among other things, wireless connections allow YOU to view battery status, locate their hearing aids, change the settings of their hearing aids, and quickly apply an audiologist’s environmental presets when they enter different acoustic locations. With user controls outside the hearing aids, consumers can also listen to directions from a GPS while driving, participate in phone conversations, listen to music, and use a growing list of additional functions from iOS, Android, and Windows apps.
Pacific Northwest Audiology established The Hearing Innovations Center to highlight and demonstrate the leading edge of hearing enhancement technologies….the hearing tech on the edge of tomorrow. Interactive Screens and demonstrations will show to:
Pacific Northwest Audiology had the vision to understand that supporting wireless tech and hearing apps would make it possible to extend hearing aid use well beyond anything anyone could have dreamed of in the past, so we established the Hearing Innovations Center to highlight these important new trends.
Whether it’s streaming audio from Skype calls, TVs, MP3 players, smartphones, or other computing device, or connecting directly to an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch…we have a solution just for YOU!