Feb. 4 - A Danish company has collaborated with tech giant Apple to produce an advanced hearing aid that connects to an iPhone. The device allows the partially deaf to stream enhanced internet and recorded audio directly to their ear. Jim Drury reports.
It's designers call it "breakthgrough technology", a hearing aid that will transform the lives of the partially deaf. Developed by Danish manufacturers GN Store Nord in conjunction with Apple, the ReSound LiNX can be hooked up to an iPhone or iPad. GN's brand director Morten Hansen says using it is simple. SOUNDBITE (English) MORTEN HANSEN, VICE PRESIDENT OF GN RESOUND BRAND TEAM, SAYING: "I would find the tune that I would want to listen to and I would just hit play and that's all you need to do, nothing different from what you would normally do, and if I put down the iPad here and take up the hearing aid and put it on the ear........I will have music in high quality streamed directly into my ear now." But it's not just for music. It will wirelessly connect the hard-of-hearing with all audio available on the internet, from radio programmes to navigational directions, and all of it enhanced by minituarized hearing aid technology. GN's head of communication Michael Bjergby says the ReSound could have an enormous impact on millions of people. SOUNDBITE)(English) MICHAEL BJERGBY, HEAD OF INVESTOR RELATIONS AND COMMUNICATIONS, GN STORE NORD SAYING: "This is a conventional hearing aid to some extent but it's our most advanced so we have new audiological benefits to it and on top of that it also has the made-for-iphone connectivity and that's something completely new and something that we look at as a break-through in the industry not only because it may have the ability to break this stigma that is related to hearing aids but also of course you can do a lot of new things that you were not able to do before we had the direct link between the hearing aids and the Iphone." The World Health Organization says around 360 million people - one in 20 of the world's population - suffer from a disabling loss of hearing. For those people, the ReSound collaborators hope their message is heard loud and clear.