There have been many technological advances in the world of hearing aids over the last ten years. From digital display devices to the improved cochlear implant, researchers have continually found new ways to use technology to improve the life experiences and interactivity of people who use hearing aids. Lately, there has been an increased emphasis on how cell phone technology can help people who use hearing aids as well as cell phones. This has spawned a new generation of equipment and applications that are specifically dedicated to bolstering the relationship between these devices.
Cell Phones- Beginnings
Cell phones have always been a source of wonder for people since their widespread implementation in the late 1990s. However, what many people do not realize is how the cell phone technology from the early days has lead to better outcomes for hearing aid users. For example, cell phones started to use telecoils in the late 90s in order to boost signals. This also had the side effect of being able to make calls more stable and less erratic for people using hearing aids. As a result, telecoils are now used in all cell phone devices, and there has even been an established rating system to help people make educated choices regarding their telecoil needs. During this time people began to see major differences between phones that made better use of hearing technology, leading to a hearing aid capability rating, or HAC, that is still present on the market today and helping people make educated choices.
Smartphones-A Bright Future
Smartphone technology has come so far in such a short amount of time that people have overlooked the tremendous ways that it can help people with hearing loss or those who use hearing devices. For example, there have been many homemade applications for people who use hearing aids, such as notification apps that make a specific sound or use lights to gain the attention of the phone user. Other apps are built around the idea of increasing accessibility, such as those made to link with televisions in order to help people get subtitles for a show or film.
However, by far, the most impressive form of technology that exists for cell phones and hearing devices right now is the ability to remotely control hearing devices while they are being used. Hearing aid companies have partnered with cell phone companies to develop new applications that link phones and hearing aids to allow the user to change volume, pitch, power usage, and a variety of other options on their devices. The devices do not even need to be removed in order to modify these settings. Many smartphones that are linked with hearing devices also have a built-in locator so that you can find the hearing aid in the event that it is lost. These are just some of the most significant ways that cell phones are revolutionizing the hearing aid market.