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Hearing Impaired

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
Google Glass hasn't exactly set the world on fire – or, for that matter, even left beta status. But that doesn't mean there aren't still some cool potential uses for the headset. Today Glass has two big new apps: one that can turn it into a life-changing tool for the hearing-impaired, and another that, erm, helps movie theaters sell tickets. Read More
According to the World Health Organization, more than 360 million people worldwide live with disabling hearing loss, and for many, devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants allow them to maintain a normal life style. But what if a cochlear device could offer a biological solution that would enhance a patient’s experience? Read More

The ReSound LiNX hearing aid connects with a user's iPhone to allow music and phone calls to be heard directly through the device, thus allowing more comfortable smartphone use for the hearing impaired. Read More

Two Portuguese designers based in Sydney have come up with a practical idea for facilitating communication between people when sign language is involved. Catarina Araujo and Sofia Santos’ project, still at the development stage and looking for financial backers, taps Leap Motion technology to create a wearable sign language translator to be worn as a necklace. Read More
We're smack in the middle of summer, which means there are plenty of blockbuster movies to choose from in theaters right now. If you're deaf, though, a trip to the movies can be frustrating. Not many theaters screen movies with closed captions, since most people without hearing problems would rather not see them. The only other option is usually to have a special ear piece on, but that only works if a person has any of their hearing left. Fortunately, Sony is outfitting certain theaters with its new Entertainment Access Glasses, which can display captions right in front of the wearer's eye that no one else can see. Read More
Since beginning in 2003, the Microsoft Imagine Cup has tasked students the world over with developing technology aimed at solving real-world problems. In this, its 10th year, students were asked to build their project around a specific Millennium Development Goal (MDG), with the finals held this month in Sydney, Australia. The winners have just been announced and beating out teams from 75 countries to claim first place (and US$25,000) in the Software Design category was the Ukraine’s quadSquad with their EnableTalk gloves that translate sign language into speech in real time. Read More
Sign language is definitely a boon to deaf people when it comes to communicating with each other, or with non-deaf people who are trained in the system. If a hearing person doesn’t regularly deal with the deaf, however, then there's an obvious communication barrier. In order to address that situation, a group of engineering technology and industrial design students from the University of Houston have created MyVoice – a prototype American Sign Language (ASL) translator. Read More

Designed to overcome the frustration of listening to phone calls in noisy environments, Kyocera's new URBANO PROGRESSO smartphone provides an alternative to the traditional speaker by transmitting sound through vibrations in the handset’s display screen. Read More

According to United Nations’ World Health Organization, there are approximately 278 million people worldwide suffering from moderate to profound hearing loss. It is not surprising that many of those people have particular difficulty with telephone communications and programs through the Internet. When telephone conversations are conducted via computer networks using the Internet Protocol, ambient noise and acoustic echoes often impede the conversation. For the hearing impaired, it is especially problematic - most of the time they need to increase the volume to try and follow the conversation. However, by doing so, the background noises are also intensified and signal frequencies become virtually intolerable. In response to this growing problem, developers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Digital Media Technology IDMT in Oldenburg have come up with a digital solution. Read More
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