Hearing tests in South Africa via teleaudiology systems now offer two options for client diagnostics. The first is asynchronous tests with clients tested (remotely) online and results passed to a professional. With synchronous tests, a client’s hearing is tested in real time, with the professional reviewing and referring the test results onward as relevant.
Apps For Self-Programming Hearing-Aids
Transmedicine audiology systems, or the real time interpretation of hearing test results in this case, will allow hearing-aid wearers to self-program their devices by means of a standalone touchscreen interface or a mobile app. In Norway, scientists have created an intelligent remote-tuning system for wearers to tune their hearing-aids themselves.
Another way for hearing-device users to adapt to varying acoustic contexts is by pairing an Apple Watch with compatible GN Resound and Starkey hearing-aid models, plus the Cochlear BAHA device. Sound-profiles can be geo-set for home and work, for instance.
New app-based hearing-products include Usound, which adapts environmental sound to a user’s hearing profile, as programmed into their smartphone. There’s also the rechargeable Eargo, a tiny device with four pre-set sound profiles for mild to moderate hearing loss.
The Hearing-Device That Sees And Hears
A hearing-device with audio-visual function for wearers, is in development at the University of Stirling, for use in cochlear implant signal-processing and noise-reduction headgear.
Staying with the audio-visual area, Doppler Labs is creating Here, a pair of US quarter-sized earbuds, for concert-goers to personalise volume, reverb and bass levels to their liking. Doppler’s vision is for everybody to augment their own hearing in everyday situations that require amplification or noise cancellation in urban and rural settings, as needed.
Future Innovations With Hearables
By 2018, the market for hearable devices worn in the ear is tipped to be worth USD 5 billion, with music entertainment and sound engineering entities driving growth in this sector.
Ears are a natural focus for sensors and hearables, particularly for augmented hearing through a smartphone or mobile device. In fact music listening may become more social when sound is shared between earbuds or headphones that are in development.