Like diseases, physical impairment due to disease or any other reason is a huge impediment in the way of living a normal life. According to estimates, the number of Americans who have experienced hearing loss exceeds 50 million. Globally, the statistics are more frightening. An estimated 360 million people in the world suffer from hearing loss, 32 million of which are children. Another alarming estimate shows 1.1 billion young people at risk of hearing loss due to exposure to noise in various settings.
Seeing this problem on the rise, Apple started work on the development of a hearing aid project. Teaming up with Cochlear, a global company specializing in hearing devices, Apple has developed a hearing implant compatible with its iPhone.
In the past, implants have worked using Bluetooth technology or apps for iOS but never has any device streamed sound directly from a phone. Cochlear’s hearing implant can be connected to a compatible Apple device such as the iPhone or iPad, streaming sound directly and does not need any app. People with implants surgically embedded in their bodies can also make use of this device. They can control sound directly using a compatible Apple device such as their iPhone.
The Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor hearing implant is approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. It can stream sound directly from a compatible iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the sound processor. This new model from Cochlear is much lighter and smaller as compared to its predecessor, the Nucleus 6. This way both young and old users can use the device with equal ease. It comes with a longer battery life due to a new processing chip which saves battery life.
Cochlear CEO Chris Smith stated regarding this new device:
“The approval of the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is a turning point for people with hearing loss, opening the door for them to make phone calls, listen to music in high-quality stereo sound, watch videos and have FaceTime calls streamed directly to their Cochlear implant.”
“This new sound processor builds on our long-standing commitment to help more people with hearing loss connect with others and live a full life.”
The protocol developed by Apple is being offered to hearing implant and hearing aid manufacturing companies for free. This makes it possible for the device to be available all over the world.
The Cochlear implant can be controlled using an iPhone by going into the iPhone’s settings option. Once there, simply go into ‘General’ and then into ‘Accessibility’. There you can find ‘hearing devices’. Clicking on that and any devices nearby would show up. Connect to your device and start using it. Users can control volume, listen to phone calls or music on their iPhone. There is no intermediate device required and everything is easy as a breeze.
According to Jan Janssen, Senior Vice President, Research and Development, Cochlear:
“At Cochlear, we design devices to give recipients greater flexibility to personalize their settings and manage their hearing loss on a daily basis, and these new solutions offer that experience like never before.”
Thanks to its dual microphone and SmartSound technology, Cochlear implants deliver crisp and clear sound to the user. Background noise is canceled out and voices are delivered with clarity.
The Nucleus 7 Sound Processor hearing implant is scheduled to be released in September this year. It is a great device for those who are suffering from complete or partial hearing loss. This device has given them a chance at a normal life. Pairing with Apple will bring ever more convenience to using the device. This new Cochlear hearing implant is a great step towards revolutionizing the hearing implant industry.