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Apple Creating Stir About New Hearing Aid Application

Apple unveiled that its iOS 6 will introduce its new “Made for iPhone” hearing aids that will give the hearing-impaired a better digital experience, and now it’s applying for two patents to do just that.

The two patents are for a hearing-assistance system consistent with human speech and another promising a visual or auditory notification for an external noise such as doorbell or fire alarm, according to AppleInsider. Both are expected to make their debut in the Made for iPhone hearing aids.

The hearing-assistance system will attempt to solve inconsistent speech patterns or accents for the user.  An example would be in a lecture hall where the user must concentrate to hear what a professor is saying, but also what is being written on a board. Instead, the patent would convert the speech into text and then into consistent computer-generated speech sent to the hearing aid. Users can manipulate speed and playback.

In the second patent, users will be able to receive audible or visual notifications when a doorbell rings or a fire alarm goes off.

You have to admire Apple’s ingenuity for creating a “Made for iPhone” hearing aid, which is bound to be a big seller — especially if it’s on the iPhone 5. And if it consistently updates and tweaks the device, it will make the iPhone a necessity for those with any hearing impairment.

Apple unveiled that its iOS 6 will introduce its new “Made for iPhone” hearing aids that will give the hearing-impaired a better digital experience, and now it’s applying for two patents to do just that.

The two patents are for a hearing-assistance system consistent with human speech and another promising a visual or auditory notification for an external noise such as doorbell or fire alarm, according to AppleInsider. Both are expected to make their debut in the Made for iPhone hearing aids.

The hearing-assistance system will attempt to solve inconsistent speech patterns or accents for the user.  An example would be in a lecture hall where the user must concentrate to hear what a professor is saying, but also what is being written on a board. Instead, the patent would convert the speech into text and then into consistent computer-generated speech sent to the hearing aid. Users can manipulate speed and playback.

In the second patent, users will be able to receive audible or visual notifications when a doorbell rings or a fire alarm goes off.

You have to admire Apple’s ingenuity for creating a “Made for iPhone” hearing aid, which is bound to be a big seller — especially if it’s on the iPhone 5. And if it consistently updates and tweaks the device, it will make the iPhone a necessity for those with any hearing impairment.

Note: Hearing aids are considered ‘medical devices’ and government regulations prohibit them from being packaged and sold off the shelf at retail stores like an Apple Store. Made for iPhone Hearing Aids will be likely an application that will interface with current hearing instruments. At this point Apple has most likely contacted and met with the largest hearing aid manufacturers and they’re scrambling to figure out how to allow their hearing instruments to communicate with Apple’s operating system and applications.

About Adam Bernstein

Adam Bernstein is the owner of The Hearing Professionals, Milwaukee's premier hearing healthcare facility. As the owner of The Hearing Professionals, Mr. Bernstein has over 20 years of experience in the hearing healthcare industry. He began his career in 1995 at GN Danavox, one of the largest hearing aid manufacturers in the world. After leaving Danavox, Mr. Bernstein opened two hearing healthcare offices in Chicago, IL. In 2001 he moved to Milwaukee, WI and opened The Hearing Professionals. In 2008 he added a second Wisconsin office in the town of Brookfield. Today The Hearing Professionals is the largest private audiology practice in SE Wisconsin. Mr. Bernstein has written numerous articles on hearing healthcare which has appeared in newspapers throughout the country and has been interviewed by news programs regarding advances in the hearing industry. Mr. Bernstein a member of Unitron’s Customer Advisory Board and a graduate of The University of Minnesota. You can email him at adam@icanhearthat.com and you can visit The Hearing Professionals at www.icanhearthat.com.

One response »

  1. That’s actually great that Apple is doing this. I’m surprised this hasn’t been done already as an app. Thanks for sharing.

    Reply

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