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In the past few decades, there has been a huge push to develop more accessible products. Instead of only designing for able-bodied customers, companies are starting to realize that there is a big market for designs that can be used by people living with all sorts of conditions. Thanks to innovative technology, more and more products are being created that promote accessibility for those dealing with hearing loss.
A few simple changes to many classic products have resulted in items that can be used by a wider range of people. Here are a few of the many advancements in product design that provide more accessibility for those who are struggling with hearing issues.
Software-Enhanced Hearing Aids
Hearing aids are already very complex technological devices, and some companies are taking them to a whole new level by creating new software to enhance their functions. The advanced programming helps adjust various sound levels and gives you clear, accurate hearing.
The right programs in your hearing aids can keep any annoying whistling from happening, and they can prioritize speech levels over background noise when you are listening to things. The continued innovation of hearing aids ensures that these products can provide the best hearing augmentation possible.
Improved Audio-to-Text Translations
There has been a huge growth in software that makes it far easier to provide text-based captions for videos, music, and voice calls. Thanks to machine learning and AI-based software, even fuzzy or digitally altered sounds can now be easily transcribed into easy-to-read text.
We are also seeing a lot of changes to websites, such as YouTube’s decision to add automatic captions to all videos. Most smartphones can now transcribe voicemails into texts, and some of the newer ones have other audio-to-text programs that help you turn sound into a visual image. This sort of thing makes it a lot easier for people living with hearing loss to access sounds on their computers and phones.
Visual and Sensory Cues on Products
Gone are the days of simple coffee machines and toasters that just make a basic “ding” to tell people they are finished. Modern products tend to include a lot more options for timers and alerts, so it is easier to find ones that provide visual or sensory cues.
People with hearing impairments can get microwaves that flash a message after heating food or dishwashers that blink a light to let them know a cycle is done. There are even alarms and smoke detectors that flash bright lights along with making sounds.
The ability to connect smart products to a watch or phone also gives you the option of selecting a vibrating alert whenever you need to know about something important. The right cues on a product can keep you from burning meals, missing important calls, or waking up too late.
Advanced Speaker and Headphone Options
Now, you no longer have to rely on basic television and radio speakers that may be difficult to hear. Many companies are using Bluetooth technology to create products just for those living with hearing impairment. These devices let you stream audio directly to headphones or add small speakers to the back of your chair.
The ability to get sound delivered right to your ears on quality speakers that promote clarity and remove background noise can greatly help you hear what you need to hear. Today, more and more companies are also providing the option of playing both audio channels in each ear. This means that you will not miss important sounds if only one ear is hard of hearing.
With all these great options available, people who have hearing loss no longer have to put up with inconveniences in their day-to-day lives. In addition to benefiting from technological advances, those who want to improve their aural ability can benefit from working with one of our hearing care providers. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help.