Although I don’t have a hearing problem specifically there are areas of my hearing that can be improved by correctly configured technology.
I know all of this, as I work for Phonak, part of the Sonova group, the Global market leader in hearing technology. One of the many benefits of working for Sonova, is that I get a preferential rate on hearing aids for myself and my family, should they be needed.
I was recently measured up, and I’m now the proud owner of 2 Ambra Nano hearing aids, on the Spice + platform. I don’t understand all the technology, but put simply, they are the most advanced hearing aids in the world (and capable of 200 million calculations per second).
You might wonder, why they need to do calculations ?. Modern hearing aids are different than the ones from my grand parents generation. Firstly, the old hearing aids, just amplified everything.
The problem with that, is that if you have problems hearing sounds in a certain range, you need something that will sense and block-out the sound of clinking glasses in the pub, as well as emphasising the sound your having problems perceiving.
To do this, you need software that has been pre programmed with all sorts of data, so that it “knows” what to enhance, and what to block out (it can of course block sounds out, as its resident in your ear. The only things you’ll hear are the things that the technology allows through).
The other problem, is to do with direction. Hearing a noise like a door slamming, without some indication where its coming from is a nuisance and in some circumstances can be quite dangerous. Modern hearing aids have directional speakers, to give an indication of the direction of the sound.
The ones I have, fit completely inside my ear canal (I’ve photographed them next to a 5p, to give some idea of the size). In case you don’t know (and there’s no reason why you should) the red hearing aid, is always worn in the right ear.
My comments above, are my own personal opinions, and dont represent the views or opinions of Phonak or Sonova’s management or board of directors.
That said, I travel to work on the train each day, wearing my Phonak T Shirt, which I’m proud to wear (we don’t make land-mines, or cigarettes we make hearing aids, that make peoples lives better through technology. I also wear the hearing aids every day, and though I’m not a scientist or audiologist, they are amazing and have revolutionised my life.
That’s not the only astounding thing going on at work at the moment.
Here, my assistant Dan puts some rubbish in the skip, without being asked, or leaving it for me to do :).
I’m only joking, Dan is an asset to our department, in every way (and lends me money for lunch at Subway).