They Turned On My Cochlear Implant, And I Feel Like I Won The Lottery

My Cochlear Implant JourneyI finally got my cochlear implant, and on July 1 they turned it on. The surgery on June 20 had gone well, but like everyone else who must await activation, I had no idea how well it would work in restoring my hearing once it went live.

But when the audiologist attached the external processor and activated it, I experienced a modern miracle. After about 20 seconds of some electrical whining and echoing, my brain started tuning directly in to all the sounds in the room. When the audiologist started speaking to me, I could actually understand what she was saying. My wife started speaking, and for the first time in years I understood what she was saying without having to look at her. The audiologist got behind me, turned her back to me, and spoke to the wall, and I could still understand what she was saying.

It’s been nearly a month now, and I’m still overwhelmed. [Continue reading]

New Class Of Internet-Connected In-Ear ‘Hearables’ Could Become A $5-Billion Dollar Market

By now most people have heard of “wearables,” the body-worn Internet-connected devices that perform multiple applications for consumers. Right now the most common of these are wristwatches or wristbands that monitor your vital signs during exercise. One research firm predicts the global market for wearables will grow to more than $30-billion USD by 2018.

But don’t be surprised when you start to hear a lot about a fast-growing subset of wearables called “hearables” — a new class of Internet-connected in-ear devices that provide multiple forms of communication and biometric monitoring with the potential to act as hearing aids or personal sound amplifiers as well. In fact, one well-informed analyst, Nick Hunn, predicts the annual global market for in-ear hearables will grow from zero to more than more than $5 billion by 2018.

The question for the hearing industry will be how well and quickly it can respond to the opportunity. [Continue reading]

An Independent Siemens Hearing Aid Business Could Be Great For The Hearing Industry

Yesterday's announcement by Siemens that it will spin off its audiology and hearing instrument business as a separate, new publicly held company could be great news for the global hearing aid industry -- but only if an independent, newly energized … [Continue reading]

On Semiconductor’s New Digital Signal Processors Drive Hearing Aid Cost Reduction

With the introduction of two new digital signal processors (DSPs) integrating advanced sound processing functions, On Semiconductor is taking another step in the march to lower-cost manufacturing of both high-end and entry-level hearing aids. The … [Continue reading]