Technology is developing into smarter, more powerful, and smaller devices. Being smaller while doing more is the general trend.
Hearing aids are no exception, and it’s not a surprise. The world’s population is aging and hearing problems, though they can have many different causes, are more common among older people. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 37.5 million individuals and 3 million Canadians report having difficulty hearing, and because age is a stronger predictor of hearing loss than any other demographic variable, that number will probably go up.
If you’re dealing with hearing loss, that’s one person too many. Are there any better ways to deal with hearing impairment? Let’s have them! Innovations are happening, here are a few.
Complete-Body Tracking Through Your Hearing Aids
This one seems like it should be obvious. Devices that provide different kinds of health tracking are nearly always worn and need to be worn close to the body. So, if you already have a device that’s in your ear… do you really need another one on your wrist? Nope! Or at least, you don’t with some of the latest hearing aids, which in addition to helping fix hearing difficulties such as tinnitus, will also keep track of your pulse, your physical activity, and much more. Hearing aids can also monitor things that other wearables normally don’t, like the time spent conversing. Particularly as you age your level of social engagement can actually be a key health metric.
Connectivity is the primary watchword, as virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa have moved from smartphones to in-home devices without missing a beat. Some hearing aids that have Bluetooth capabilities now allow users to stream audio directly from a device, like a smart TV for example, to the hearing aids. Google published open-source specifications for Android developers that show them how to use certain channels within Bluetooth to provide uninterrupted audio straight to hearing aids. This type of technology is helping hearing aids work almost like super-powered wireless headphones, making it easier to enjoy music, movies, and more.
Big Data Allows Smart Adjustments
Your next hearing aid could make personalized recommendations similar to how a Fitbit alerts you to fitness goals or how Netflix suggests your next movie in line with your viewing trend. The places you visit and the adjustments you make will allow these new hearing aids, being manufactured by several brands, to learn your habits. Some go as far as to crowdsource data about people’s usage habits, making it anonymous then aggregating it. So whether you’re watching TV at home, or in an IMAX theater, your hearing aids will be able to use this information to know what your situation is and make adjustments to give you the best audio experience.
Eliminating The Batteries For Good
Ya, it sounds too good to be true, hearing aids that don’t require batteries? It can be very inconvenient making certain you have extra batteries or that your hearing aids are completely charged. While we’re not likely to get hearing aids that don’t need any batteries, there has been a continuous improvement in rechargeable technology. You’ll get faster charging time, extended use time, and less worry about batteries, which seems pretty good.