“Patients wearing revolutionary Australian-invented Cochlear implants will soon enjoy speech and music delivered straight from an iPhone to their brain,” Chris Griffith reports for The Australian. “Apple said its accessibility engineering team had worked with Cochlear to adapt a special form of Bluetooth low-energy audio (LEA) that links an iPhone with the external part of a new Cochlear system known as the Nucleus 7 sound processor.”
“The breakthrough involves making sure that Bluetooth connectivity doesn’t rapidly exhaust the hearing system’s battery,” Griffith reports. “In the past, the only way an iPhone could link to a Cochlear implant was through a third device — extra technology that users had to carry with them. And they couldn’t monitor the Cochlear system from their phone.”
“More than 660,000 people in Australia with moderately severe to profound hearing loss are expected to get access to the Cochlear Nucleus 7 sound processor,” Griffith reports. “They’ll be able to receive phone calls, listen to iTunes music, watch movies and make FaceTime calls on their iPhone through the new hook-up… Apple’s director of accessibility Sarah Herrlinger said accessibility had been part of Apple’s DNA from the start. ‘It’s something that we are really passionate about as a company,’ she said.”
“Ms Herrlinger said the development work was undertaken by the Apple team and Cochlear in the US and Australia and across multiple companies with hearing aid products. The integration work took place over 2 to 3 years,” Griffith reports. “While Apple had worked integrating an iPhone with hearing aids, Cochlear was the first to connect a sound processor with an Apple device. The Cochlear system works with recent iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch models. The Nucleus 7 is to be launched in Australia today.
Read more in the full article here.
MacDailyNews Take: Accessibility is yet another of myriad examples where Apple leads the way by a wide margin!
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