This is my first post … I’m a software engineer in the Mobile Technology space, and I am wondering what the Hearing Industry is doing in regards to Wear-able computers? (this includes products like: Pebble Smartwatch, Samsung Galaxy Gear, Google Glass, and etc …)
Many of you who have hearing aids that can be controlled by a remote control probably cringe at the idea of taking that thing out in public to make an adjustment - I definitely do! The thing looks like it was built in the 1980s and it’s meant to open your garage door or something.
Where is the hearing aid integration into the sleek looking phones of today? Or better yet, the wearable technology of tomorrow?
Wearable technology is going to be making its first real breakthrough in the industry in 2014 according to analysts. I want to stress that new models of hearing aids that integrate with these technologies SHOULD be coming out this year … but the big question is “How long will we actually have to wait?” Smartphones have been out for years, and to date … we still don’t have a fully working phone application that can do simple things like change your program or increase/decrease the volume.
Now WHY would we want that?
- It’s discrete for those of us who are self-concious of our hearing loss.
- We don’t have to worry about carrying additional devices with us.
- It’s much “cooler” than a clunky remote.
NOW here is the “wearable computer” suggestion: BUILD AN APP THAT INTEGRATES INTO THE PEBBLE SMARTWATCH!
For those of you who have never heard of it, be sure to check it out! Essentially, you can get vibrating alerts on your wrist:
- When your phone rings (i.e. when you’re sleeping or in the shower)
- When you receive emails / sms and now BBMs.
- When your alarm clock rings.
- It’s wireless! Uses bluetooth!
Why not use this same device to control the volume and programs on your hearing aids? As a software developer, writing this kind of app and releasing it to the public takes no more than 2 - 3 months with the right software developers.
FYI: the smartwatch itself costs $150 and the app for it should cost no more than $2.99, since this is by no means rocket science to implement. THIS, is a cost-effective solution!
I encourage everyone reading this post to reach out to their hearing aid manufacturer and tell them “This is what I want and I want it this year!”
I think I’m done ranting for the night … I hope this has been an enjoyable read for you all!
P.S. I also invite you to join the Group: Hearing Aid Technology: Current Thoughts & Future Desires where I will be posting more articles of this nature for those interested. Hoping for some good discussion.