The technologies typically synonymous with Silicon Valley startups and major tech titans like artificial intelligence (AI), Bluetooth wearables, and geo-enabled smartphone applications are making their way into an unlikely suspect: hearing aids.
These new AI-powered devices are a hearing aid, fitness tracker, mental health tracker, wellness coach, and foreign language translator in one. They make the leap from the hearing aid of days past to a wearable designed not only to give you the best hearing experience on the market but improve almost every aspect of your life.
These new devices seek to put to rest the stigma of hearing aids as last-resort medical devices and introduce them as powerful wearables for the tech-savvy crowd. Simply put- these aren’t your grandmother’s hearing aids.
As Starkey Hearing Technology’s President Brandon Sawalich says, “It’s not about hearing loss, it’s about hearing gain.”
Artificial Intelligence Hearing Aids
The Starkey Circa AI
Starkey Hearing Technologies reinvented both the hearing experience and the hearing aid with their new Circa AI hearing aid. It is the world’s first hearing aid to utilize integrated sensors and artificial intelligence to improve hearing. Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology makes it possible for machines to learn from experience and adjust to new inputs. These new AI hearing aids use this machine-learning technology and directional microphones to identify a wearer’s listening environment and then adjust based on the detected environment’s acoustics.
In addition, the new Hearing Reality™ technology provides an average 50-percent reduction in noisy environments, significantly reduced listening effort, and newly enhanced clarity of speech.
The result? Superior sound quality, listening clarity, more natural hearing and effortless transitions. From home, to the store, to a crowded restaurant- These new hearing aids preserve peace and quiet while amplifying the important things like speech to help you better understand conversations in any environment.
New Brain and Body Health Tracking
Not only does this new hearing aid provide the best hearing experience possible, but it’s designed to help the wearer lead a more active and healthy life.
The Circa AI hearing aid is the first hearing aid ever to include integrated sensors so you can set body and brain health goals and easily track your progress via the Thrive Hearing app. The Thrive Hearing app creates a ‘Body Score’ and a ‘Brain Score’ for its users to track their overall wellness.
How does it work? First, the hearing aid tracks your level of activity, steps, and overall movement to give you a ‘body score’. Next, it measures the brain benefits of wearing hearing aids to give you a ‘brain score’. This score is calculated by combining how many hours a day you wear your hearing aids, how often you are in environments where you engage in conversation or music/tv streaming, and how often you engage in active listening.
Your calculated brain and body scores are then combined to give you an overall wellness score to assess your overall health and well-being. The new wellness score feature is designed in part to help wearers take a proactive approach to treating hearing loss, which if left untreated, is linked to serious health issues like dementia, anxiety, social isolation, and an increased risk of falling.
New Language Processing & Translation
Whether you’re looking forward to an upcoming international business trip or you’re a retiree finally ready to travel the world, the Circa hearing aid is there to help. Its new advanced language processing capabilities can translate speech in 27 languages.
How does it work? If you wish to engage in conversation with a foreign language speaker, it begins by translating your speech into the desired foreign language and displays these words on your smartphone’s screen. Then, when your foreign language counterpart replies, the hearing aids directly translate the reply into spoken English in the ears of the hearing aid wearer. So if you’re an English speaker seeking to communicate with an Italian language speaker, you can translate your speech into written Italian words on your smartphone and then hear the Italian speaker’s reply in English directly in your hearing aids.
Bluetooth Hands-Free Streaming
The Circa AI hearing aid also operates as a hands-free way to respond to and stream phone calls, TV, music, apps, and more. You no longer have to strain to hear your favorite cable program or next Netflix binge, as sounds can be directly streamed to your hearing aids and adjusted to your level of hearing. It’s also the first hearing aid to feature Amazon Alexa connectivity.
What’s Next for These Hearing Aids?
Like most modern smart devices, the CircaAI hearing aid will continue to come out with software updates and additions to the features it currently provides. The next big update will include a medical alert system designed to detect falls among elderly wearers and automatically send text message alerts to programmed emergency contacts.
Are AI-Powered Hearing Aids Right for You?
At their core, these new devices are meant to encourage the over 466 million people with hearing loss to consider how wearing hearing aids can transform your life and help you take charge of not only your hearing, but you’re overall health. If you’re interested in learning how these new hearing aids can help you or a loved one live your best life, call or schedule an appointment online with our office today.