CES (Consumer Electronic Show) never has a shortage of amazing technology to wow the masses, and CES 2018 didn’t disappoint, with over 4,000 exhibiting companies and more than 170,000 attendees from some 150 countries. In the past few years, hearing health has been one of the spheres where exciting products are being rolled out. Here are some of the exciting new developments in hearing tech we saw at the show this year.
- Rechargeable batteries are now the standard, rather than a feature.
As consumers have become used to mobile devices, portable speakers and all other sorts of everyday tools, rechargeable batteries have become the standard and this is trickling down to manufacturers of hearing devices. In the next couple of years, we will likely see the phase-out of conventional batteries in hearing aids, except in certain special cases.
- AI is making every product more customizable, including hearing devices.
It’s becoming increasingly common for hearing devices to collect data from their environment and adapt to the hearing landscape continuously rather than falling in the “set it and forget it” category. One example of this is the Oticon HearingFitness App, which won a 2018 CES Innovation Award. Available later in 2018, the app can be used the company’s with Opn hearing aids to track things like hearing aid use patterns, common listening environments, and others. The data is also merged with the user’s heart rate and sleep patterns to give patients and their audiologists a complete view of a patient’s health and lifestyle.
- Hearables are getting serious about features and vying for FDA/FCC approval.
Hearables have often suffered from being viewed as consumer-grade devices that aren’t fit for patients with real hearing loss. This year, with the deregulation of the hearing aid market, manufacturers are making an attempt to create hearables that are more fully-featured and have approval from official entities, like the FDA. One headphone manufacturer, Bragi, has teamed up with Mimi Hearing Technologies on Project Ears, a set of earbuds backed by hearing technology that will offer some unique benefits over conventional hearables.
- Hearing technology is being increasingly embraced by the masses. It’s estimated that only 20% of the roughly 48 million Americans who suffer from hearing loss are using a hearing aid for treatment. This shortage is likely an effect of lack of awareness and also the stigma that can sometimes come with wearing a hearing device. But manufacturers are trying their best to get around this problem. According to The Verge,
“Now, we’re seeing sleek, stylish hearing aids from Eargo and smart hearing aids — which can communicate with smoke alarms and doorbells — from the likes of Oticon and ReSound. The key here is that smart hearing aids and stylish ones make the tech cool, and that’s one big thing that might encourage people who need them to use them.”
Wondering what all these advances in technology mean for your own hearing health? Chicago Hearing Services is proud to offer these products. Get in touch with us so we can assess your needs and recommend a product that will best address them! Contact Chicago Hearing Services today to schedule an appointment!
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