Technology is evolving into smarter, more powerful, and smaller devices. Generally speaking, the trend is that devices have more features and take up less space.
This is also true for hearing aids, and it’s not surprising. Though hearing problems have a number of causes, hearing problems are more common among older people, and the world’s population is aging. According to the National Institutes of Health, approximately 37.5 million individuals and 3 million Canadians describe having trouble hearing, and since age is a better predictor of hearing loss than any other demographic variable, that number will probably increase.
If you’re suffering from hearing loss, that’s one person too many. Better ways to minimize hearing loss? Bring ‘em on! Here are some of the innovations that are happening.
Whole-Body Tracking Through Your Hearing Aids
This is so obvious, it’s one of those “Now why didn’t I think of that” innovations. Devices that provide different types of health tracking are almost always worn and have 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? Nope! If you have the latest hearing aid, it can most likely track your pulse, physical activity along with fixing hearing problems like tinnitus. Hearing aids also have the ability to monitor things that other wearables normally don’t, like the duration of conversations. Especially as you get older, your level of social involvement can actually be an important health metric.
Better Streaming Straight to You
Connectivity is the major watchword, as virtual assistants like Siri and Alexa have advanced 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. Android developers now have open-source specs provided by Google which allows them to use certain Bluetooth channels to stream continuous audio straight to your hearing aid. This technology is making things like music and movies more enjoyable by acting like super-powered wireless headphones.
Big Data Allows Smart Adjustments
Your next hearing aid could make personalized recommendations much like how a Fitbit alerts you to fitness objectives or how Netflix recommends your next movie based on your viewing trend. The places you go and the adjustments you make will allow these new hearing aids, being developed by several brands, to learn your behaviors. Some push it even further, crowdsourcing information on how people use their hearing aids anonymizing and then aggregating the data. So whether you’re watching TV at home, or in an IMAX theater, your hearing aids will be able to use this information to recognize what your situation is and make adjustments to give you the most enjoyable audio experience.
Eliminating The Batteries Once And For All
Ya, it sounds too good to be true, hearing aids that don’t require batteries? It can be very inconvenient making sure you have spare batteries or that your hearing aids are fully charged. While we’re not likely to get hearing aids that don’t need any batteries, there has been a continuous advancement in rechargeable technology. You’ll get quicker charging time, longer use time, and less worry about batteries, which seems pretty good.