The American Academy of Audiology: see into the future

November 10, 2016 by Sébastien Lanthier

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The 28th annual convention and exposition of the American Academy of Audiology (AAA) was held in April in Phoenix, Arizona. It is one of the biggest gatherings of audiologists and audioprosthetists in the world.

The event included a variety of talks and exhibits previewing new hearing aid technologies that will hit the market in the coming months.

One of the technological advances that got people’s attention were hearing aids that can connect to everything in the house, car, and anything else that can be linked via the Internet. In smart houses, people with these hearing aids will be able to find out the temperature in a room or the level of electricity consumption, or even connect to computers, phones, and tablets. A notification could then be sent to the hearing aids when the wearer received an email. This technology will be used via a smartphone application linked to the If This Then That (IFTTT) network. The application can be programmed to provide access to anything you want. For example, you could get a voice alert in your hearing aids when someone rings at the door or a text message to tell you when your batteries are low.

Technologies for everyone

The latest headsets will be great for athletic people. Instead of wearing a bracelet or a strap around the chest to know your heart rate, you will only have to listen. A new device will be available to hear your heart rate, speed (for example, during a cycling activity), and distance travelled. You will also be able to download up to 4 GB of music, or about 1,000 songs. These headsets are completely waterproof, so you can listen to your music while swimming. They also have Bluetooth technology so you can answer your cellphone easily when someone calls.

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These new headsets are great not only for athletes but also for less active people, as the devices can calculate significant changes in vital signs and automatically call a family member whose phone number has been programmed. This will help people living alone feel more secure, since someone will always be alerted if anything happens. These headsets are not designed only for hearing-impaired people. They can also be used without amplification by people without hearing loss.

To learn more about these technological advances, ask an audioprosthetist.

The next AAA convention and exposition will be held in Indianapolis, Indiana, from April 5 to 8, 2017. For more information go to www.audiology.org

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