Discover 6 new hearing loss technology breakthroughs.
Scientists and product developers are always working on new and improved hearing loss technology to make life better for those who need it. There are some exciting developments to watch as we head into 2021!
The new technology for hearing loss that we have to look forward to in 2021 includes:
- Customizable vibration wearables
- Earbuds with built-in hearing features
- Vital sign monitoring
- Hearing aid “mask mode”
- Bluetooth developments
- Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)
Let’s explore all this cool new technology for hearing loss below.
Customizable vibration wearables
We often use sounds to alert us to things happening around us- but people with hearing loss can’t always hear these valuable warnings. Thanks to cutting-edge vibration wearables, it’s becoming possible for people to feel these sounds instead.
Hearing loss technology like the Neosensory Buzz wristband captures sound and turns it into a wide variety of vibrational patterns. It’s not just a one-size-fits-all buzz, but a nuanced vibration you can distinguish as one sound or another. You can set it to vibrate for doorbells and ringing phones; emergency sounds like sirens and alarms; music playing at a party; and even the unique vibrations of someone calling your name and talking to you.
Earbuds with built-in hearing features
Companies aren’t just making single-functional products these days. In the past, earbuds and hearing aids were two entirely separate products. But in recent years, “smart earbuds” have been catching up with hearing aid technology. In 2021, keep an eye on Bose Hearphones, Nuheara IQbuds, and Olive Smart Ear, all of which are walking the line between traditional earphones and assistive listening devices.
Vital sign monitoring
What if your hearing aids could help with essential health monitoring, like tracking your blood pressure? As it turns out, the ear is a great place to use biometric sensors to monitor vital signs since the ear is full of blood vessels and arteries. Stay on the lookout for hearing aids that can monitor your blood pressure, heart rate, and even blood oxygen and calories burned.
Hearing aid “mask mode”
In the era of mask-wearing and social distancing, people with hearing loss have had to adapt to all new challenges in addition to COVID-19 restrictions. Speaking with people wearing masks can mean more muffled sounds and the inability to read lips. Enter “mask mode,” a setting some hearing aids are offering to boost the frequencies muffled by masks. You can also set your friends and family up with masks with a clear window for easier-to-understand conversations.
Bluetooth in hearing aids has been around for a while, but it’s getting better every year. There are now models that can connect to any phone (not just exclusively an iPhone or Android), TVs, public broadcast systems, and more. Piping sound directly into your ears is the most sure-fire way to hear every word loud and clear!
Functional near-infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS)
Tinnitus can feel like an isolating hearing issue, especially because it has been difficult to measure clinically in the past. The main thing that audiologists have to go on is your self-reported experiences, which can be hard to describe. Those struggles are close to being a thing of the past, thanks to fNIRS, a new type of hearing loss technology that uses brain imaging to measure the presence and severity of tinnitus objectively. This technology will also help doctors better understand how well treatments are working!
We’re looking forward to seeing all this new technology for hearing loss in action. At CapTel, we’re also always on the lookout for ways to improve our selection of hearing loss telephones—check them out here!