Wednesday, January 9, 2013

GN ReSound: The First Made for iPhone Accessory & App

Back in June I wrote about a tantalizing bit of information on Apple's website regarding "made for iPhone hearing aids." Now we are seeing the first results of this idea, in the form of GN ReSound's accessory, the Unite Phone Clip+, and a free app in the app store designed to allow users to adjust settings on their hearing aids through their iPhones.

The GN ReSound Unite Phone Clip+
An image of the ReSound Phone Clip.
The Phone Clip+ is similar to the Oticon Streamer and other Bluetooth accessories for hearing aids. The device clips onto your clothes and can assist in streaming audio from your phone to your hearing aids. 

ReSound Control App
This app is available in the Apple App Store and works with the Phone Clip to allow users to adjust settings on their hearing aid from their iPhones. ReSound says it will soon be available for Android phones as well. According to a press release from ReSound, "Users can control their hearing aids, phone conversations and wireless streaming accessories from their iPhone screen. No more fumbling behind the ear. No more toggling through programs. No more wishing it wasn’t so noticeable to use a hearing aid."

I'm excited to hear about new products and apps coming out in the wake of Apple's decision to touch on accessibility and hearing aids; I'm even happier to see Android apps won't be far behind.

 

7 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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  2. Hi Allen,
    Yes, they will work with an iPad or an iPod Touch that is running iOS 5 or 6.

    The Phone Clip+ works for streaming music from an iPad or iPod touch, but can’t use the phone functionality from those devices. The app provides the same functionality from any of those devices.

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  3. This is definitely an exciting time for hearing devices. I too am looking forward to seeing what else is to come.

    We recently posted a video on our YouTube channel in which Dr. Robert Jackler discusses his thoughts on the future of hearing devices. It is a long video which includes other information as well - but you might find the segment (about 14.5 min into the video) on the Earlens interesting as far as new (though not having to do with Apple) technology.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aSabC_hV8sk

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  4. Just an FYI, All Beltone dispensers will offer this technology as well for their wireless product line. GN being the parent company of Resound and Beltone.

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  5. I am somewhat surprised that the 'Made for iPhone hearing aids' turned out to be hearing aids, a streamer, plus a smartphone app providing just interactive controls. To be positive, the app is a convenience. At the least, hearing aid vendors have started collaborating with mobile device vendors to develop APis to share functionality between all these devices. I am hopeful that the scope of the APIs will be expanded in the future.

    I have an iPad, and I have downloaded the ReSound Control iOS app onto it. The app works only in portrait mode, but that is because the app is intended for the iPhone. The app was fully functional in demo mode. IMO, the app GUI is well thought out, and the interactive controls should be intuitive to use.

    The Mute button, which turns off the hearing aid microphones, should be useful in shutting out annoying background noise if necessary (but that could be a danger to you). Being able to label the hearing aid programs should allow users to provide program names to describe their function in user-friendly terms.

    I have both low vision and a moderately profound hearing loss. So, I was pleased that the app was almost fully functional with the iOS VoiceOver screen reader. It appears that all the VoiceOver gestures are in working order. The only non-functioning portion of the app was the tutorial itself (which works fine when VoiceOver is turned off). It should be nice to be able to hear the user-defined program labels.

    Does anyone know if only the usual Bluetooth protocols were used by ReSound, or were the later Bluetooth 4.0 'low energy technology' protocols also included? See: www.Bluetooth.com, and enter 'low energy' in the search field.

    It is good that ReSound worked with Google to create a reference ReSound Control app for the Android platform. This should help foster competition to the advantage of hearing aid/mobile device users.

    – Bert

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  6. Having this device would be like a dream come true, I have faced lot of problems while hearing aids, sometimes not able to control the voice whereas sometimes not clear to what is going. Now I think there will be full control over it with this simple device.

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  7. Currently the 1.1.x firmware do not support the SDK applications. Once end of June comes, then Apple will release 2.0 (small fee for iPod Touch users due to the accounting policies). That contains AppStore and that's where you can download for free/pay for over 500+ applications and games.
    http://www.apptunesmania.com/

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