Many who suffer from hearing loss avoid crowded spaces or restaurants where it is hard to hear conversation. Due to new innovations in technology, hearing aids are able to connect us clearly to our friends, hobbies, and our environment through artificial intelligence and accessories.
Artificial intelligence (AI) is technology that is programmed to solve complex problems with intelligent solutions. The technology is able to “learn” from experience and be able to adjust in complex situations. You may have heard of AI in self-driving cars, smartphones, and in smart home devices, but did you know that hearing aids are also being created with AI?
AI has revolutionized the hearing aid industry and has brought a wide array of capabilities to the technology that helps you hear. Hearing aids built with AI can detect your environment and learn what noises you wish to focus on. For example, when seated in a noisy restaurant with a friend or spouse, hearing aids with AI can soften crowd noise and amplify the voice of your tablemate. For areas that you frequent, the hearing aid will remember your preferred settings and automatically turn them on when you enter that location.
Some AI hearing aid features released in 2018 include step trackers, a cognitive tracker, and fall detector. The world of AI in hearing aids is quickly expanding, so please continue checking our website for new innovations.
With hearing aid apps and accessories, hearing aids can now allow the user to adjust what direction of sound to focus on or connect to a separate microphone that can be worn or set on a table.
Hearing aids that connect to smartphones via Bluetooth also allow the user to stream calls and music directly from a phone or tablet to the hearing aids, amplifying sound and cutting out background noise.
With remote accessories like TV streamers, hearing aid wearers can enjoy their favorite TV shows or movies with clear, stereo sounds streamed to their hearing aids. This will allow friends and family to enjoy watching alongside the hearing aid user at comfortable volume levels.
During the pandemic, many hearing aid manufacturers added Face Mask Mode to their hearing aid apps. When turned on, hearing aids will boost frequencies of sound that are affected when the speaker is wearing a mask. This keeps those with hearing loss safe when they are trying to listen to someone wearing a mask at a safe distance.
Most BTE and RIC hearing aids come equipped with a telecoil, or “T-coil”. A T-coil is a copper wire that is wrapped inside the hearing aid casing. When turned on, the microphone on the hearing aid turns off and allows the wire to capture sound solely from the source. T-coils can either connect to a compatible phone, microphone accessory, or audio in a public space. T-coils systems are frequently installed in places such as churches, community centers, airports, museums, and theaters. If you see the image to the right, telecoil has been installed in that area. Ask your hearing healthcare professional about t-coil settings in your hearing aids and how best to connect to your surroundings.