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Tracking the Future of Hearing Aids at Light Speed

While hearing aids are no stranger to innovation, the future of hearing aids has never been brighter. Based on the last few years alone, hearing aids have become increasingly effective, which hasn’t always been the case.

This increased functionality coupled with exciting auxiliary features continues to shape the future of hearing aids. Continue reading to learn more about the projected future of hearing aids poised to reshape how hearing loss is treated.

Future of Hearing Aids and the Internet of Things

When Oticon – one of the largest hearing aid manufacturers in the world – introduced the Opn, they tilted their hand and gave a huge indication on the direction of the future of hearing aids. Unlike any other hearing aid, the Oticon Opn hearing aids have access to the If This, Then That (IFTTT) network. These smart hearing aids connect to the internet through the Oticon ON app on smartphones.

Once connected, you can set triggers or recipes where an action triggers another. For example, you could create a recipe (IFTTT instructions or conditions) that everything you post to Facebook will automatically post to Twitter. This technology also has huge implications in the real word, and the number of real world applications will continually increase as the internet of things (IOT) evolves.

One practical real world example that demonstrates the future of hearing aids with the OPN’s IFTTT technology is if your hearing aids are triggered to turn on by the doorbell being rang. Simply put, there are an endless number of recipes and possibilities only limited by the number of physical world devices connected to the IOT.

Learn more the Oticon OPN and the Internet of Things by watching this video.

Rechargeable Hearing Aids

It’s no surprise that rechargeable hearing aids have been on the scene for a long time with manufacturers like Hansaton and Siemens producing models. The main issue with previous models has typically been the amount of available power. Users were concerned that they wouldn’t get a full day’s use, especially if using a wireless steamer.

New innovation and lithium ion batteries have changed this, and the future of hearing aids will almost certainly include more attractive models of rechargeable units. Already, Phonak has introduced a rechargeable hearing aid with a lithium ion battery, and you can expect more innovative versions with stronger battery life to come.

Mind Control – It’s All in Your Head

When we mention mind control in the future of hearing aids, most people assume we’re joking. However, there has been an increasing amount of serious research and work done to connect your hearing aids to your consciousness.

They hope to capture signals from your brain in relation to the focus of your attention to make sure the hearing aids hone in on the sounds or voices you want to hear. Although much of the research and work is still in its infancy, the future of hearing aids involves mind control – or your ability to control your hearing aids with your mind.

Fuel Cells Aren’t Just for Autos

While most people associate fuel cells with Honda’s hydrogen fuel cell vehicle, hearing aids with fuel cells emerged at the announcement of a Danish project in 2009. A few major companies within the industry announced they’d work together to create capable fuel cell technology for hearing aids. Then in 2013, a patent that was originally filed in 2011 came public.

No fuel cell hearing aids have made it to market to date, but the manufacturer Widex is hoping to deliver a product in 2018. So keep your ears and eyes open for more about hearing aids powered by fuel cell technology.

Seeing the Impact of Hearables on Hearing Aids

Let’s face it - hearing aid users have been taking advantage of wearable ear technology for ages. However, there’s a new phenomenon sweeping society – hearables – that’s poised to change the cultural view of hearing aids. Simply put, hearables are becoming a widely accepted norm, which will have a transformational impact on the cultural acceptability of all types of hearing aids.

A hearable is defined as a wireless computational earpiece made to fit in your ear canal. This tiny micro in-ear computer uses wireless technology to supplement and bolster your overall listening experience. Hearables will include a wide variety of additional features, such as activity tracking, biometric personal identification, and translation.

Contact North Shore Hearing P.C.

As your local audiologists, our goal is to help you hear and experience life better. We offer some of the most cutting-edge and innovative hearing aid devices available on the market today. We offer advanced hearing aid solutions for everyone from athletes to musicians. Regardless of your age or lifestyle, we can help.

Contact North Shore Hearing P.C. today to schedule your free hearing screening.

Diane Faulknor, MA, CCC/A

After 18 years of experience in the field of audiology and hearing aid dispensing, I felt it was time to start my own practice which has led to the creation of North Shore Hearing, P.C. I take pride in the care I provide for my patients as hearing is not just a medical issues we need to deal with, but also the social and lifestyle ramifications that people with poor hearing live with on a day-to-day basis. Based on not only your hearing loss, but also the type of lifestyle you lead, we'll work together to fit you with the most appropriate hearing aid available in today's marketplace.

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