There continues to be discussion and speculation about Apple computer’s entrance into wearable computers. The tech world continues to wait with bated breath, for the much heralded iWatch, which is expected to be a killer device that will have a major effect on computing, in much the same manner as the iPad. Apple CEO, Tim Cook has said that Apple will be introducing new products in 2014, and there is continued speculation about Smart Glasses to compete with Google Glass, along with wristbands for the fitness conscious. It is also possible that the company will adopt an unexpected route into wearable computers with the introduction of smart hearing aids.
Details are still sketchy in the developing story, but reports are that the company has recently partnered with a Danish company whose main product is a hearing aid for use with the iPhone. There are more than 500 million people around the world that suffer from some degree of hearing loss, but with the ReSound Linx attached to an iPhone or iPad, even the hearing impaired can connect with others, via iOs 7 enabled devices. They will be able to hear what others are saying in clear sound or enjoy the same experience as others.
The product is both a hearing aid and a headset that is designed specifically for iOs 7, and perhaps what may be the biggest benefit,is that it operates wirelessly with blue-tooth technology. The hearing impaired can enjoy audio signals, streamed to Apple devices. The ReSound Linx developed by GN ReSound offers multiple opportunities for the hearing impaired to connect with others with speech that is delivered in clear signals that are easy to understand, and although the announcement may be surprising, it easy to understand why Apple will enter the wearable computing market with a hearing aid.
Users are able to easily adjust the quality of the sound by changing the settings of the bass, volume, and treble as they appear on the mobile device. An interesting feature of the Resound Linx, is that it can also be used with Android devices, but users must download the ReSound Control App for use with Android devices.
The product can be customized to fit personal needs for hearing loss, and to fit specific lifestyles. It is said to be suitable for individuals with mild to severe hearing loss, and additional features are included.
If the hearing aid is lost, it can be located with GPS enabled capability. Locations can also be pinpointed and saved for easy access. The Live Listen feature allows users to use the microphone on the iOs device to stream the signals to the hearing aid.
Reports are that there more than 500 million around the globe, and more than 36 million in the U.S. with some degree of hearing loss. Unfortunately, less than 20 percent do anything about it, such as getting a hearing aid, because there may be a stigma attached to swearing a hearing aid.
With the introduction of ReSound Linx, which is indistinguishable from a headset, it is be hoped that more people will opt to wear the sleek new device from the world’s biggest computer company. The only detriment appears to the cost involved, as the services of an audiologist are needed for custom fitting of the device which is listed at $3000. The product still remains a specialty item, but by entering the wearable computing market with a smart hearing aid, Apple may have the resources for mass production which can lower the price to reach a wider audience.
By Dale Davidson