Thanks to continual advances in technology, hearing devices continue to develop and change, providing users with better hearing experiences. As demonstrated at the 2018 EUHA Congress, hearing devices are becoming more advanced and are using technologies originally developed in other fields to give users a more natural hearing experience.
While each hearing device is unique in its features, here are some of the main trends in the latest generation of hearing devices:
- Artificial intelligence (AI) – The Livio AI, created by Starkey, is a hearing device that incorporates artificial intelligence. This hearing device performs simultaneous language translation and has advanced environmental detection to ensure that it performs optimally in various environments. Audio Service’s Mood Li-Ion G5 also uses artificial intelligence; intelligent algorithms allow the device to adjust itself binaurally for each hearing situation.
- Machine learning – Machine learning, in which computer systems can progressively improve their performance in certain tasks, is also being incorporated in hearing devices. The Widex EVOKE device uses machine learning to give users the best possible hearing experience. The system guides the user through a series of questions and evaluations to deliver better real-life sound and to fit the user’s sound preferences. The goal is to reduce the amount of adjustments needed. The Starkey Livio AI and Audio Service Mood Li-Ion G5 also use machine learning to identify the user’s voice. The system then ensures that the wearer’s own voice sounds pleasant for a more positive user experience.
- Sensor technology – The Starkey Livio AI also features integrated sensors. The sensors track body and brain health, enabling the wearer to set health goals and track their progress. The Mood Li-Ion G5 also utilizes sensors; the G5 technology analyzes a connected smartphone’s motion sensor from an audiological point of view.
- Connectivity – Hearing devices from many manufacturers feature more connectivity options than ever before. While several devices released over the past years have been able to connect to iPhones, manufacturers are now focusing on connectivity with a wider range of devices, including iPhones, Androids, and classic Bluetooth protocol used on millions of devices. This connectivity allows call and music streaming, easy hearing aid control from smartphone apps, and more.
- Smaller size – One focus in the past year was creating smaller hearing devices, enabling users a more discreet wearing experience. Several manufacturers released their smallest-ever hearing devices at the 2018 EUHA Congress. While the stigma surrounding hearing devices is lessening, manufacturers are still dedicated to providing a discreet, comfortable experience to users.
- Style options – Hearing devices are available in a wide variety of colors and style options to accommodate wearer’s preferences. This year, color options that correspond with recent trends in digital devices were also seen in hearing devices. For example, the Signia Styletto is available in three brushed metal color combinations: dark granite/silver, cosmic blue/rose gold, and snow white/rose gold.
Even with the latest advances in hearing devices, manufacturers and designers remain adamant that the role of an audiologist or hearing care professional is essential.
We are dedicated to ensuring that you are fitted with the hearing device that best meets your unique needs and preferences. To learn more about the latest advances in hearing devices and to find out what’s right for you, please contact us today.