It seems like all our devices are getting smarter, stronger, and more compact. Taking up less space while doing more is the overall trend.
So it’s not surprising that hearing aids are no exception. Though hearing issues have many different causes, hearing issues are more common amongst older people, and the world’s population is getting older. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 37.5 million individuals and 3 million Canadians report having trouble hearing, and since 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. Better ways to reduce hearing loss? Bring ‘em on! Innovations are happening, here are some.
Complete-Body Tracking Through Your Hearing Aids
This is so intuitive, it’s one of those “Now why didn’t I think of that” developments. Devices that provide different types of health tracking are almost always worn and need to be worn close to the body. So do you really need a device on your wrist if you already have one in your ear? The answer is no. Or at least, you don’t with some of the newest hearing aids, which in addition to helping fix hearing difficulties like tinnitus, will also keep track of your pulse, your physical activity, and a whole lot more. Hearing aids also have the ability to track things that other wearables usually don’t, like the duration of conversations. Particularly as you get older, your level of social engagement can actually be an important health metric.
Better Streaming Straight to You
Connectivity is the major watchword, as virtual assistants such as Siri and Alexa have advanced from smartphones to in-home devices without missing a beat. Some hearing aids that offer Bluetooth capabilities now allow users to stream audio directly from a device, like a smart TV for instance, to the hearing aids. Android developers now have open-source specifications supplied by Google which lets them use specific Bluetooth channels to stream continuous audio straight to your hearing aid. This technology is making things like movies and music more satisfying by acting like super-powered wireless headphones.
Smart Adjustments From Big Data
Your next hearing aid might make individualized suggestions similar to how a Fitbit informs you of fitness objectives or how Netflix recommends 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 developed by a few companies, to learn your behaviors. Some push it even further, crowdsourcing information on how people use their hearing aids anonymizing and then mixing the data. All this info allows the hearing aids to determine your tendencies and make adjustments on the fly so that whether you’re watching TV at home or you’re at an IMAX theater (for example), you’ll get the best sound.
Eliminating The Batteries For Good
Hearing aids that don’t need their batteries changed? Sound too good to be true? After all, making certain you’ve got spare batteries on hand, or even making time to recharge your hearing aid batteries, can be annoying. While a hearing aid that doesn’t use any batteries at all may seem like wishful thinking, rechargeable battery technology continues to improve. You’ll get faster charging time, longer use time, and worry less about batteries, which seems pretty good.