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Hearing Aid


— Good Thinking

Student-designed aid for the deaf converts speech to AR captions

Speech-to-text systems already exist, as do augmented-reality displays. Now, a group of New York City teens led by Daniil Frants (who interned at the MIT Media Lab when he was 14) have combined the two technologies to form the Live Time Closed Captioning System (LTCCS). Once up and running, it could revolutionize the way in which deaf people communicate with the hearing world.

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— Health & Wellbeing

Mouthpiece could let the deaf "hear" through their tongues

In order to regain their sense of hearing, many deaf people currently opt for cochlear implants. Such devices are expensive, however, plus they must be surgically installed and they don't work on all forms of hearing loss. That's why a group of researchers at Colorado State University (CSU) are developing an alternative – an electric retainer that transmits spoken words to the user by buzzing their tongue. Read More
— Science

Fly-inspired tech could find use in better hearing aids

When it comes to animals with good hearing, flies might not be the first one you'd think of. The Ormia ochracea fly, however, has a unique hearing mechanism that allows it to precisely determine the location of a cricket based on its chirps ... it then deposits its larvae on the cricket, which ultimately consume the poor insect. Scientists at the University of Texas Austin have now duplicated that mechanism, with hopes that it could find use in applications such as next-generation hearing aids. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

iHear hearing aid can be calibrated over the internet to keep costs low

According to the Hearing Loss Association of America, 48 million Americans (around 20 percent of the population) report some degree of hearing loss. This problem is compounded by the costs associated with having the condition diagnosed and a hearing aid fitted in a clinic, causing many to allow the ailment to go untreated. iHear, an invisible hearing aid, is designed to significantly lower the cost of personalized hearing devices by enabling the user to test the extent of their condition and calibrate the hearing aid from their own home. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Cochlear implants may be losing their awkward external hardware

Thanks to the development of cochlear implants, many people who would otherwise be quite deaf are able to regain a limited sense of hearing. Unfortunately, the implants also incorporate external components that can get in the user's way, and that look ... well, that look like the user has something hooked up to their ear. Now, however, researchers at MIT, Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary have developed a chip that could lead to cochlear implants that are entirely implanted. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Wear takes a fashionable approach to hearing aids

From hiding hearing aids in your mouth to having them built-in to the arms of your glasses, we have seen some innovative efforts to assist those with hearing difficulties in recent years. With these unobtrusive technologies available, you might think that wearing a hearing aid around your neck would be the least desirable of options. Yet the team behind Wear believe that by favoring comfort and aesthetics over discretion, it may have conceived a viable alternative. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing

Algorithm could drastically improve the performance of hearing aids

Despite some advances that have been made in the field, one of the continuing problems with hearing aids is the fact that they amplify background sound along with peoples' voices. While our brains are reasonably good at distinguishing between speech and distracting ambient noise, hearing aid users get the noise and the voice presented to them in one often-incomprehensible package. Researchers at The Ohio State University, however, may have a solution. They've developed a noise-filtering algorithm that's been shown to improve test subjects' recognition of spoken words by up to 90 percent. Read More
— Health & Wellbeing Review

Review: the Personal Audio Enhancer (PAE-300) from VitaSound

VitaSound has launched a multi-functional audio enhancement device for those who suffer from situational hearing difficulties. The PAE-300 has been designed for folks who don't need a hearing aid, but could do with some help when trying to hold a conversation in a noisy room, or watch television without needing to crank up the volume. It's powered by the intriguing Neuro-Compensator technology, that's said to enforce an optimal electrical signal from the root of the auditory nerve to the brain, resulting in improved audio clarity and a natural listening experience. Gizmag has been sent one for review, but, since my hearing is pretty good, I've recruited my father-in-law, Jean-Jacques, as primary device tester. Read More
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