Technology and innovation have the power to level the playing field between all kinds of people, including the disabled. One such innovation is helping hearing impaired people better connect with the world and lead fuller lives. Apple has partnered with Cochlear, a company who develops devices that allow the hearing impaired to hear better, or in some cases, for the very first time.
This partnership has led to the development of the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, which streams audio from a compatible Apple device (iPhones, iPads, iPod touches) directly to a person’s implant via Bluetooth technology. These surgically implanted devices give hearing impaired individuals the power to not only hear activity on their devices but also customize the audio.
Apple began by creating a protocol for use by hearing device developers and manufacturers to make devices compatible with Apple’s products. Apple’s senior manager for global accessibility policy and initiatives, Sarah Herrlinger, told TechCrunch, “We want everybody to use our technology and to say ‘wow my iPhone is the best piece of technology I’ve ever used before’…with every iteration of our operating system our goal is to add in new accessibility features in order to expand the support that we can give to people all over the world.”
The Hearing Health Foundation estimates that greater than 50 million Americans have experienced hearing loss. This technology aims to help widen the auditory world for a great number of people.