Have you heard about LiNX? Although it’s made for people with hearing loss, it’s been causing a big stir with those who aren’t.
Wireless connectivity via Bluetooth from your iPhone to your hearing aids isn’t anything new. In the past, however, users had to wear a device around their neck that would “stream” the sound from the smart phone to your hearing aids. With LiNX you no longer have to wear that “streamer”. With LiNX the hearing aids can now connect directly with your phone and you can now enjoy true wireless connectivity as your iPhone delivers phone calls, music, streaming radio, even turn-by-turn navigation, right to your LiNX hearing aids!
This past week we had a hands-on demonstration of LiNX and the ReSound Smart app. Is LiNX all that it’s cracked up to be? For anywhere from $2,500 to $3,500 you’re going to a top-of-the-line hearing aid. But it’s the iPhone app “Smart” that sets this hearing aid apart from the rest.
With geotagging, the LiNX can remember audio settings particular to location. If you go to your favorite restaurant and normally have to put your hearing aids into the “noise” setting and then turn it down one notch, LiNX can remember that for you. The next time you walk into that restaurant, LiNX will recognize the location and automatically adjust your hearing aids for you.
Another feature lets you use your iPhone as an external microphone. Let’s say you’re at a loud restaurant and you’re having a difficult time hearing your companion. Simply press a button to activate the microphone on your Apple device, and then hand the device to your companion and it streams directly into your hearing aids. Or, let’s say you’re at a work meeting and having a difficult time hearing your co-workers across the table. Simply take your Apple device and put it on the table, and the microphone will pick up the voices in the immediate area and stream them directly into the hearing aids.
When’s the last time you misplaced your hearing aid and had a difficult time finding it? With the “Find My Hearing Aid” feature on the app, you can now find your missing hearing aid! Simply launch the app, turn on the “Find My Hearing Aid” feature and you will automatically see via GPS the last place your hearing aid gave a signal. For example, you may be at home and see that your hearing aid is back at the office or at the restaurant you visited the night before. When you get there, the app works sort of like the kids game “Hot or Cold” and you will be able to see when you get closer to the hearing aid. The app won’t tell you the hearing aid is in your desk drawer, but it will get you within about 5 feet of the device.
When the ReSound rep was at our office demonstrating the LiNX, I excused myself from the room and placed the hearing aid on the counter in another room. I told the rep that if he wants his hearing aid back, he needs to find it! It took the rep about 10 minutes to find the hearing aid – but he did find it.
The new age of consumer technology is coming to hearing aids and with LiNX, GN ReSound is differentiating themselves from the other brands out there. Although ReSound was first to market with a made-for-iPhone hearing aid, stay tuned as the other manufactures are not far behind.