Apple teams up with Australian-based Cochlear to bring the first made for iPhone Cochlear implant to iPhone users. Cochlear’s Nucleus 7 Sound Processor, which was approved in June by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, can now stream sound directly from a compatible iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the sound processor.
The device also permits people with a surgically embedded implant to control and customize the sound from their iPhone. Though there have been implants and hearing aids that made use of iOS apps to sound and other features and Nucleus’s own app can be downloaded for the same purpose. But the unique thing about Cochlear’s newest processor is that it is controlled by the phone itself and doesn't need an app download.
Apple recognized the problem of more than 50 million Americans who have experienced some kind of hearing loss due to some reasons, so the company spent a number of years to develop a hearing aid program within the company.
A protocol was developed by Apple and offered for hearing aid and implant manufacturers to use with their devices for free.
“We wanted to see something that could become ubiquitous out in the world. “We want everybody to use our technology and to say ‘wow my iPhone is the best piece of technology I’ve ever used before’…with every iteration of our operating system our goal is to add in new accessibility features in order to expand the support that we can give to people all over the world” said Apple’s Sarah Herrlinger, senior manager for global accessibility policy and initiatives told TechCrunch.
It is relatively easy to access the control settings for the Cochlear implant. People who get the new Nucleus 7 Sound Processor or other made for iPhone hearing aid can simply go to their iPhone settings, click on “General” and then click “Accessibility.” As you scroll down, a list of different will be displayed. Tap on the "“hearing devices” and it will be displayed as a bluetooth device would be displayed in bluetooth settings. When that is done, the implant will then pair with your iPhone.
Check out: Wallflower prevents fire outbreak
As soon as the implant is paired up with the iPhone, it can be controlled using the iPhone’s volume controls; just like in the case of a headphone or another Bluetooth-enabled device. For example, you can hear an incoming call at the volume settings within your implant.
The new Nucleus 7 has a longer battery life and is very much ideal for children with hearing loss as it is smaller and 24 percent lighter than the former ones, like the Nucleus 6 Sound Processor.
In a statement made by Cochlear CEO, Chris Smith, he said “The approval of the Nucleus 7 Sound Processor is a turning point for people with hearing loss, opening the door for them to make phone calls, listen to music in high-quality stereo sound, watch videos and have FaceTime calls streamed directly to their Cochlear implant. This new sound processor builds on our long-standing commitment to help more people with hearing loss connect with others and live a full life.”