iPhone-Controlled Hearing Aids

Nice story for the Times by Farhad Manjoo, detailing yet another ground-breaking iPhone+hardware pairing that is gaining momentum in the medical community. This one, however, has an interesting twist:

It’s only a slight exaggeration to say that the latest crop of advanced hearing aids are better than the ears most of us were born with. The devices can stream phone calls and music directly to your ears from your phone. They can tailor their acoustic systems to your location; when the phone detects that you have entered your favorite sports bar, it adjusts the hearing aids to that environment.

The hearing aids even let you transform your phone into an extra set of ears. If you’re chatting with your co-worker across a long table, set the phone in front of her, and her words will stream directly to your ears.

He continues, later in the article:

For the first time, I had fine-grain control over my acoustic environment, the sort of bionic capability I never realized I had craved. I’m 35 and I have normal hearing. But if I could, I’d wear these hearing aids all the time.

I've never considered that normal-hearing adults could benefit from precisely-tuned hearing devices.

(via Greg Maletic)