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Hearing

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

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

Good Thinking

BioAid app turns the iPhone into a hearing aid

It’s so obvious when you think about it. The iPhone has a microphone, a computer that can process audio, and earphones – why not use it as hearing aid? That’s just what a group of scientists from the University of Essex have done, with their BioAid app. It has the potential to replace thousand-dollar hearing aids with a free download ... as long as users don’t mind keeping their phone close at hand. Read More

Military

Raytheon developing 3D hearing for pilots

Pilots need sharp eyes, but Raytheon is looking to their ears as well. The company has developed a new 3D Audio system for aircraft, that turns information into an audible three-dimensional picture. It helps pilots identify where threats are coming from, and keeps radio channels untangled.Read More

Science

Scientists use 3D printer and cartilage cells to create artificial ears

When a child is born with the congenital deformity known as microtia, they have an underdeveloped external ear – also known as the pinna. Even though their inner ear may be normal, the lack of the external structure can affect their hearing, plus it looks unusual. Normally, a replacement pinna is made from a foam-like material (or sometimes even cartilage from the rib cage) and implanted under the skin, although these don’t always look particularly natural. Now, scientists from Cornell University have developed a more realistic pinna grown from biological material, using a 3D printer. Read More

Medical

Researchers restore hearing in mammals by regenerating auditory hair cells

There is new hope for those of us who have overindulged in loud bands and dread the prospect of old age spent with an ear trumpet clamped to the sides of our heads. Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear and Harvard Medical School have been able to stimulate resident auditory hair cells to become new ones, resulting in partial hearing recovery in mice whose hearing has been damaged by noise trauma.Read More

Elvis-evoking Cat-Ears reduce wind noise while you cycle

Sometimes when you’re cycling, especially if you’re out on the open road, the constant wind noise in your ears can get rather annoying. It can also be potentially dangerous, as it may mask traffic noises. Well, if you’re OK with sporting what at first glance looks like a pair of dark sideburns, Cat-Ears might be the answer.Read More

Robotics

Honda's HEARBO robot has excellent hearing

A team led by Kazuhiro Nakadai at Honda Research Institute-Japan (HRI-JP) is improving how robots process and understand sound. The robot, aptly called HEARBO (HEARing roBOt), can parse four sounds (including voices) at once, and can tell where the sounds are coming from. The system, called HARK, could allow future robot servants to better understand verbal commands from several meters away.Read More

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