Category Archives: Hearing Impairments

New Technology for Hearing Impairments

Year End Top Ten: New Technology

Let’s look back at some of the coolest new technology and inventions featured in 2013. Again you can read the original article by clicking on the picture and the order is by date appeared.

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iOS 7 Accessiblity Features

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Unless you’ve been cut off from recent media access, then you know that Apple came out with the newest version of the iPhone, the 5S. Along with a new phone was the introduction of iOS 7. This new mobile operating system introduced a band new look along with added features. Some of those new features included some additions to the phone’s accessibility features.

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Xbox One and Kinect 2 Possibilities

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Over the past year I’ve featured a few stories about how researchers, developers, and designers are utilizing the abilities of Kinect to help people with disabilities. Some have used the motion capture technology to allow people to control devices and play games with mere eye movement and facial expressions. Others have concepts of interpreting sign language. This week Microsoft announced and showed off the next generation Xbox One and a second generation Kinect. The improved power and innovation of these devices opens up a whole new world of possibilities.

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BioAid | Hearing Aid App

Image: BioAid

Image: BioAid

Slowly but surely our smartphones are becoming a device that can do just about anything. Things we used to have a separate item for can now be done by a smartphone. Magnifiers, pedometers, compasses, cameras, maps, and alarm clocks are just a few examples. Now we can include hearing aids into the category. A group from the U.K. has developed the BioAid hearing aid app for the iPhone.

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Clarity Ensemble | Captioning Phone with ClearCaptions

Image: Clarity

Image: Clarity

For many years now, TTY machines have been use by people who are deaf or hard of hearing to communicate over the phone. This system has an operator that types out messages that appear on a small screen. The operator can also verbally speak messages typed by a user if the other user is of hearing. But many people who still have some hearing don’t use TTYs. This can lead to conversations where misunderstandings or people are asked to repeat lines. Traditionally TTY screens can be hard to read for people that have low vision. For those people a landline telephone by Clarity might be a solution. Their Ensemble captioning phone has an amplified handset and tablet screen that displays large font captioning.

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ADA Illustraded App | 3D Illustrated Version of the ADA Building Standards

iOS Simulator Screen shot Mar 5, 2013 1.54.45 PM

So this article is a total self promotion, but it is for something I’ve been working hard on for months 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design became enforceable. As a person that draws and reads construction plans, I could understand the code pretty well. Not that reading the ADA Standards is hard to understand, but they can be hard to visualize. Which had me thinking, why not make an illustrated version of the standards and turn it into an app. That was the beginning of the ADA Illustrated app, a 3D illustrated version of the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design with over 380 images.

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Bone Conduction Hearing Aid Implant

Image: Chalmers

Image: Chalmers

Despite what many people might think, hearing loss can come in a variety of different ways. Having a hearing aid that just makes everything louder is not the answer for everyone. The ear has many working parts and different solutions are needed when different parts don’t work. For those who have a working inner ear but damaged middle or outer ear, a new hearing aid implant is in the works. The Bone Conduction Implant (BCI) is a bone conduction hearing aid by Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden that conducts sound through the skull to the inner ear.

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Public Bus Transportation Assistance With OnTheBus App

OnTheBus App

Image: {a href=”http://www.onthebus-project.com/index.php” target=”_blank”}OnTheBus{/a}

Pubic transportation is a way of getting from destination to destination that many people with disabilities use. In most metropolitan areas, buses are the common mode of public transportation. Every city or town varies in efficiency and accessibility with some better than others. In any case, information while traveling is always helpful. Answers to questions such as where is the bus station, when is the bus arriving, and where is my stop, can make bus travel a better experience. Now an Android app developed by a group from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona called OnTheBus can answer these questions and improve bus transportation.

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