Thursday, July 19, 2012

Apple Working on Patenting a Social Network for Hearing Aids?

people talking in paris
Photo via Flickr user katiedee47.
It appears that Engadget has found an interesting concept from Apple in the United States Patent and Trademark Office database - a social network for hearing aid users.

According to Engadget, the idea is that a person's hearing aid could store a profile, or list of audio settings, which could then be "shared" when the user meets someone else wearing hearing aids. The hearing aids would then adjust dynamically to provide both wearers a good listening experience. This would all work with a computing device, maybe a tablet or smartphone, and the profile could be adjusted based on the user's preferences.

You can read Apple's actual filing here. What do you think? I think this is a neat idea - I would be really interested to see a demonstration and get an idea of how well something like this would actually work. This could be another example of how Apple is looking towards accessibility, in addition to its "Made for iPhone" hearing aids teased earlier.

2 comments:

  1. An interesting idea for exchanging existing programmable hearing aid profiles via a wireless capable device. This could allow people with different types and degrees of hearing loss a method of mediating differences. One approach could be the ability to focus specifically to the other person's hearing aid while excluding extraneous noise. Another approach could be to compensate for the other person's speech defects.

    There was mention of a server that the wireless capable device could utilize. That server could include a database for the social network, plus a number of other tools. Someone or an organization would need to take the lead on developing such a specialized social network.

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  2. Hi Megan,

    I haven't been blogging for a while and just today decided to catch up on hearing news. This has blown my mind! This is a game-changer and given Apple's reputation its easy to see sweeping changes in the hearing industry. Can't wait.

    here's my post on it: http://www.hearingaidknow.com/2012/08/14/apple-hearing-aids-social-network/

    ReplyDelete

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