Apple Inc filed a patent application (United States Patent Application 20130034234) on February 7 for a system that would automatically detect a hearing aid via the use of a proximity and a magnetic field sensor, then select the appropriate hearing aid mode based on the detection system. Specifically theproposed concept is summarized as:
"A hearing aid compatible portable electronic audio device is configured to automatically determine whether or not the device is being used by a hearing impaired user who is wearing a hearing aid, and select a mode of operation based on this determination. The device includes a proximity sensor and a magnetic field sensor. The proximity sensor is used to detect a change in distance of the device to the user's ear. The magnetic field sensor is used to detect a change in magnetic field caused by the device moving relative to the hearing aid. The device selects between a normal audio mode of operation and a hearing aid compatible mode of operation based on both the change in detected distance and the change in detected magnetic field. Other embodiments are also described and claimed."
L.A.-based House Research Institute and Children's Hospital Los Angeles announced today that the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has given final approval to begin a clinical trial of an Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI) procedure for children. The trial is a surgical collaboration sponsored by the House Research Institute in partnership with Children's Hospital Los Angeles and Vittorio Colletti, MD of the University of Verona Hospital, Verona, Italy.
House Research Institute and Children's Hospital Los Angeles have announced an international consortium with the University of Verona in Italy to collaborate on teaching and research to advance the use of the Auditory Brainstem Implant (ABI) in children worldwide. The ABI is already used successfully in Italy with the pediatric population and the goal of the partnership is to bring the hearing implants to deaf children in the United States.
IF YOU can hear, you probably take sound for granted. Without thinking, we swing our attention in the direction of a loud or unexpected sound - the honk of a car horn, say. Because deaf people lack access to such potentially life-saving cues, a group of researchers from the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon built a pair of glasses which allows the wearer to "see" when a loud sound is made, and gives an indication of where it came from. An array of seven microphones, mounted on the frame of the glasses, pinpoints the location of such sounds and relays that directional information to the wearer through a set of LEDs embedded inside the frame. The glasses will only flash alerts on sounds louder than a threshold level, which is defined by the wearer. Previous attempts at devices which could alert deaf users to surrounding noises have been ungainly. For example, research in 2003 at the University of California, Berkeley, used a computer monitor to provide users with a visual aid to pinpoint the location of a sound. The Korean team have not beaten this problem quite yet - the prototype requires a user to carry a laptop around in a backpack to process the signal. But lead researcher Yang-Hann Kim stresses that the device is a first iteration that will be miniaturised over the next few years.
Editor: We all know that cell phones have become much easier for people with hearing loss to use. With increased hearing aid and telecoils compatibility, and the availability of texting, cell phones are increasingly useful for people with hearing loss. Now we're seeing a variety of other mobile devices, which promise to become more useful to people with hearing loss as time goes on.
The Federal Communications Commission recently adopted the new 2011 ANSI HAC technical standard. This makes it easier for a GSM phone to get an M3 rating.
I really enjoyed my chat with Tad Hewett, Regional Sales Representative for Comfort Audio, because of his clear speaking voice. I could tell he has had a lot of experience talking to hard of hearing people, and I appreciated his excellent communication skills.
"Techie Stuff to the Rescue!" is the title of one of our popular outreach programs; as I perused the many tech exhibits at the HLAA Convention last week, I just wanted to gather some new and exciting products and bring them back to Virginia for our demo room. Here's a glimpse of some of the tech vendors.
Google is bulking up on patents to protect its new augmented reality glasses project from legal attack, with at least nine new patents issued in the past week to cover various aspects of the futuristic devices. The patents provide a glimpse into what a heads-up display from Google could provide to real-life users beyond what we learned when Google unveiled Project Glass last month. Perhaps most interestingly, one patent shows Google is working on a system to help hard-of-hearing and deaf users detect and interpret nearby sounds. The glasses' heads-up display would show arrows and flashing lights to indicate the direction and intensity level of the sound, and even display the words nearby people are speaking. The patent, #8,183,997, was issued to Google today and is titled "Displaying sound indications on a wearable computing system." The system would integrate a speech-to-text feature that determines the text of speech and displays it for the wearer of the glasses.
Here's a pretty interesting collection of "techy" devices for people with hearing loss. Unlike so many of these types of articles, some of these devices look like they might be of value to some people. And some of them are rather unique!
Cochlear Americas, the world's leading implantable hearing solutions company, announced today that it has launched its new support app for Baha 3 recipients.
The Cochlear Baha(r) Support App, which can be downloaded for free from the App Store or from the Android Market, provides information and assistance for Baha users wherever they may be, and whenever they may need it.