Oticon has just released its answer to the bluetooth era hearing aid solutions. They have come up with a new processing chip to communicate to the Apple iPhone directly. I'm impressed by the goals being set by this new processing chip - the Oticon representative has shown me a little of what the hearing devices are going to change in the sound processing level as well as the new functions of the bluetooth device.
The new technology is designed to be able to focus on speech-based input and reduce ambient noises in tough situations, throwing away the old concept of directional microphones where we listen to what is just in front of us and reduce the sounds on either side and behind us. Clearly, this traditional method of noise management is limited in its success since we often have people speaking to us on our side or talking behind us in noisy restaurants or when out doing activities such as golf, exercise, or other activities when we are moving around.
This new concept will hopefully help the individual in a large meeting hear the people sitting behind or beside him who are talking quietly while also catching the louder conversation of the main speaker.
In the next several weeks, I will test the hearing devices in multiple noise situations as well as utilizing the new bluetooth platform and IFTTT (If This Then That) functionality. Keep checking for an update on the actual performance of these hearing devices.