Modern hearing aids are marvels of not only audiology, but also computer science. More and more they are becoming part of the Internet of Things (IoT), a myriad of products and technology that allow devices to communicate with one another.
Since hearing aids are ultimately about bettering communication, this new technology fits right in.
The industry buzz phrase is “smart hearing.” What this means is the computer power of a hearing aid can be connected to a myriad of other devices that now incorporate computing capabilities — not just computers, but everything from doorbells to TVs to smartphones. This is possible because the computing power that, fifty years ago, required a computer the size of a steamer trunk can now occur in a device small enough to fit behind your ear.
The practical benefits include being able to stream audio from a TV or stereo directly into your hearing aid, linking to your smartphone in order to expand the capabilities, sending real-time data about your hearing aid’s performance to your hearing-health professional so that it can be better adjusted to your needs, and even routing the sound of your doorbell into your hearing aid.
These capabilities not only heighten the hearing experience, but they also give you the ability to route control features from your hearing aid to an app on a smartphone. This allows you to make adjustments far more easily and without anyone noticing that you are doing so. No fumbling around with a small hearing aid.
You can look like just another soul staring at your phone while you’re actually changing the volume level and mix features of your hearing aid.