Oh, and the Nucleus 7 uses Apple’s location technology to implement Find My processor, which will be useful for implanted kids to locate units after they’ve been shaken. lay on the playground.
Although Cochlear – according to Jan Janssen Senior Vice President of Research and Development, has about half the implantable device market – is the first company to use the system, Apple will provide the technology for free. Qualified manufacturers. For now, it’s the only alternative, as Google, which has Android operating system as its main competitor to Apple’s mobile operating system, says its accessibility team’s hearing efforts. So far the focus is on annotations. The company says hearing aid support is on the way, but there’s no time to go public yet.
Medical technology integration Apple’s like is an obvious boon for those in need of hearing aid. But I was fascinated by some observations that Dr. Biever, an audiologist who has worked with hearing loss patients for two decades, shared with me. She says that with this system, the patient has the ability to control their acoustic environment in a way that people with good hearing cannot – to the point of sometimes being jealous. How great is it to listen to a song that no one in the room can hear? “When I was in the loudest rooms and made a call on my iPhone, I couldn’t hold my phone to my ear and make a call,” she said. “But my receiver can do this.”
This paradox reminds me of the approach I am seeing in early commercial attempts to develop brain-machine interfaces: focusing initially on people with cognitive challenges with a long-term goal of Energy boosting for everyone’s brain. We were a sort of cyborgs, collaborating depending on palm-sized sheets of glass and silicon that we carry in our pockets and purses. In the next few decades they may be integrated under the skin.
I’m not suggesting that we can all undergo surgery to use the tools Apple has developed. But I do see a future where our senses are intensified less invasive. Pulling out a smartphone to fine-tune a person’s audio environment (or even send vibrations to an iPhone’s brain-controlled legacy device) can one day be as common as tuning bass and treble on a stereo system.
For now, Apple’s new technology and implants are more than enough for Mathias Bahnmueller. Before the surgery, Bahnmueller had a hearing difficulty that was hindering his work – he couldn’t follow presentations at board meetings, for example. They also cut him off from his loved ones. He would ask his 10 year old daughter to repeat what she said, and when she replied, “Never mind, it doesn’t matter”, he would be very disappointed.
Now that he has the implant, he can hear his daughter speak for the first time. Using his new device, he listens to the audiobook streamed directly to his skull. And when he recently went to a loud pub on the night of his wife’s date, he pulled out his phone, changed the settings, and focused only on what she said.
Everyone else there probably shouted to be heard. But the transplant guy could hear his wife’s voice very clearly.
iPhone, your phone