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Hearing Aids in 2019: Current Technology &Innovations

Hearing Aids in 2019

The technology involved in developing excellent hearing aids is continually-evolving, and 2019 is no exception. Most major hearing aid manufacturers have announced new technologies they hope to implement as well as engaging hearing aid innovations which are now available through your local audiologists and hearing specialists.

Below is a roundup of the most exciting hearing aid innovations and tech you can look forward to seeing this year.

Widex Fuel Cell Technology Development

Widex announced the world’s first fuel cell-powered hearing aid, called the Widex EVOKE ENERGY CELL. While some people had the impression that these hearing aids were just a variant of rechargeable hearing aids, the EVOKE ENERGY CELL is much more.

Using methanol—a simple alcohol chemical—to create a chemical reaction inside of a small cartridge, you can keep the fuel cell in the EVOKE ENERGY CELL hearing aids powered. Even better, if your hearing aids need a charge, all you need to do is place them on the methanol cartridge refill well for 20 seconds, and your EVOKE ENERGY CELL hearing aids will be fully charged for 24 hours of use.

These EVOKE ENERGY CELL hearing aids aren’t available yet, but many hearing professionals expect them to make an appearance later in the year.

Integrated Digital Assistants And Artificial Intelligence

With digital assistants available on smaller and smaller devices like the Echo, it was just a matter of time before hearing aid manufacturers managed to put them into hearing aids. Not only that, but it turns out that 2019 is the year of both digital assistant integration, but also the incorporation of artificial intelligence. As for what brands are driving the changes, here are the current leaders:

  • ReSound – Developed artificial intelligence hearing aids that learn your hearing preferences over time. Also includes the incorporation of the Apple digital assistant Siri. With these two things, you can do things like direct Siri to change the volume on your hearing aids, and your hearing aids will learn what you prefer.
  • Starkey – Produced the Livio AI, a device that has biometric sensors built in to provide information on your steps, measure your brain and body health, and more. Starkey has also incorporated the Thrive Virtual Assistant, which was integrated with Google Assistant.
  • Widex – Integrated into the Widex EVOKE, you can enjoy AI to help your listening experience. With the EVOKE, information on listening preferences is gathered from all users of the EVOKE hearing aids, and the AI learns to provide you with improved listening with all the collected information.

Made For Android Hearing Aids

For years, hearing aid users needed to have an iPhone to connect directly to their smartphone. Those who had an Android or other operating systems would have to purchase a secondary hearing aid accessory to assist in streaming calls from their phone to their hearing aids.

For 2019, ReSound has said that they have partnered with Google to develop hearing aids which are Made For Android (MFA). This feat has been considered very tricky, considering that Android smartphones are produced by various manufacturers while iPhones are all produced by Apple, making the iOS system easier to make compatible hearing aid technology.

Also, as ReSound makes the push to develop MFA hearing aids, it is likely that the other major hearing aid brands will work toward developing their own MFA hearing aids.

In-The-Ear Hearing Aids Made Rechargeable

At this time, the only styles of hearing aids that come with rechargeable batteries are Behind-The-Ear and Receiver-In-Canal hearing aids. However, that may change this year.

The hearing aid brands Signia and Phonak have been experimenting with the lithium-ion cell rechargeable batteries, which has allowed them to change the standard shape of rechargeable hearing aids, most notably with Signia’s Styletto hearing aids.

It may start with the largest of the custom hearing aids, but we may see In-The-Ear hearing aids later in 2019.

Greater Hearing Aid Functionality

In general, as the major hearing aid companies push the boundaries on what hearing aids offer, you are the one who will benefit in the end.

Consider this—Widex was the first one to announce their plan to incorporate AI into their hearing aids to provide a better hearing experience and overall functionality of the devices. Not long after that, Starkey and ReSound made their announcements, providing you with more choices when it comes to excellent hearing aids.

With these innovations and advancements in technology, you can have access to the right hearing aids that will help you overcome hearing loss and help you reconnect with the things you want to hear.

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