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Hearing technology has advanced over time, since the 1600’s we have seen changes in time of possibilities and break-through. In order for human to improve and challenge hearing, it proven to shown many difficult years of research and experiment has slowly rose that are considered a legacy of mark of history today. we have grown from old school massive ear horn, headphone to smart phone .
Today many hearing technology consist of transition to Ear phone -> Wired Headphone -> Bluetooth –> Wireless rechargeable smart ear bud. Modern era since 1990’s the age of digital and smart technology slowly rose to greater power and advancement. This show how much human growth in technology has advanced our skills and ability to hear better, smarter and cooler. In a way this benefited me despite having a hearing loss, I was born with severe hearing loss, i have always worn hearing aid worn around my ear tho this day.
Over the years the style and size has slowly decreased and gotten smarter and clearer in sounds, to almost discreet and invisible most people don’t even notice I wear one. However when people do realize i wear one, they make the assumption to have spoken too loud or if i do sign language. This anger me the lack of understanding people have and become ignorant to learn better about hearing loss.
This show how much history has change to improve hearing for people with hearing loss over the years to improve and allow them to gradually accept them as part of them. Many years I would struggle with hearing even with advanced hearing aid today. Many factor that disrupt my ability to focus and hearing in many environment such noisy crowded people, school or Tafe enclosed noisy chatter classroom even construction or roadwork. they tend to give me headache and frustrate me.
The worse for me is group conversation whether it’s in person or on phone, I would struggle time to time reading 30-40% by lip-reading and playing words in my minds. over the years I learnt to minimize how many i talk to and would often i need to explain to people to speak clear and face me when talking.
Since 2015 ish, I would regularly get new hearing aid upgrades every 3 years. while they are practical and effective in a sense but don’t really help with problem I still face with. The main factor is technology.
I was born in the 90s I was lucky to grown up to access to computers and phones, even now i own a smart phone iPhone SE, but the issue i have seen and experienced over the years is lack of practical features that truly benefit me in everyday environment, i would often change phone, brands style many time over the years. this frustrated me and sadden me we become an afterthought among society.
Until last year I come across a video on you tube created by french guy who as deaf, created the world first Real time caption app for phone/video calls. this give ability for deaf to read caption conversation in real-time that is automation, not by human live captioned. The app was called RogerVoice and became successfully funded and with new special updates in late 2017 for support to call others and captioned video calls.
This gave opportunity and a chance to grow for people to able to enjoy phone calls to friends and family without hassle, frustration of not knowing what the people in other ends saying. This was the starting point people starting to see relevance to cater to specific market. There been instance of music festival for deaf people to enjoy music through special vibration and bass, smart glasses for real-time conversation, minitek for music and phone, Microsoft specialized Hearing app. Below are few examples of next generation technology
Live Closed-Captioning Glasses for the Deaf (By Daniil Frants)
RogerVoice Kickstarter (By Olivier Jeannel)
MINITEK ( By SIEMEN)
Hearing AI (By Microsoft)
This increased opportunity lead us to new technology that now accessible, which have grown to be more practical than it was provided in years past. This motivated me to do my own research on smart phone, features and products that be used everyday in practical sense that is discreet and stylish to use. It has been a year since I started I have provided my first part of my research to my Australian hearing centre cardiologist. I hope to finish my 2nd research by the end of this year and talk to professional about making my ideas into reality.
Hearing technology has grown to be successful and slowly adopt people with hearing loss into the market. It is only a matter of time people accept us and integrate us into mainstream future technology such as Artificial Intelligence. I hope to see my ideas and dreams one day to be a reality and the norm of future.