If you have any kind of hearing loss, you'll know how frustrating it can be to live in a world engineered towards people with full hearing — including using your smartphone. There's a new hearing aid implant made by Aussie pioneers Cochlear that connects to your iPhone, giving you full access to whatever audio your phone is playing as well as letting you adjust the implant's settings wirelessly.
The Cochlear Nucleus 7 was announced in July, but has just been released in Australia. It's the first implant sound processor that's certified to work with the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch — and the Aussie company actually worked with Apple to build the hearing device.
Sound processors are different from hearing aids in that they're actually implanted in the skin behind the wearer's ear, and are a long-term solution for hearing loss. As well as working as a fully functional hearing implant and amplifying conversations and everyday noise, the Nucleus 7 can directly deliver audio from an iPhone — it's both a sound processor and a hearing aid.
An app for the iPhone lets users adjust their implanted sound processor — like changing volume and equaliser settings — as well as switch between different hearing programs for different environments. If the detachable portion of the Nucleus 7 goes walkabout, there's also a 'Find My Processor' function built into the app.