Apple and Cochlear team to stream music and phone calls straight to Cochlear implants

“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!

Cochlear unveils hearing implants that work directly with Apple’s iPhone – July 28, 2017
Apple’s HomePod will support VoiceOver, other accessibility features – July 28, 2017
Apple wins kudos for accessibility and smart home tech empowering people with disabilities – May 18, 2017
Apple continues to lead in accessibility awareness and innovation – May 19, 2016
How a simple Apple feature is changing lives – July 28, 2015
How the Apple Watch is opening up new ways to communicate – May 20, 2015
You know, blind people can actually use touchscreens – January 29, 2015
iPad app brings Braille keyboard to blind users’ fingertips – January 24, 2015
Apple patent applications reveal In-App features, fingerprint scanning enrollment and accessibility inventions – July 31, 2014
OS X Mavericks: How to control your Mac with your voice – April 9, 2014
Can Apple help make hearing aids cool? – March 10, 2014
Apple files new patents relating to haptics, Thunderbolt, iSight and improved accessibility for the hearing impaired – August 23, 2012
Inside Apple’s OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion: New iOS-style Accessibility – July 18, 2012
Stevie Wonder thanks Steve Jobs, praises Apple for iOS accessibility – September 15, 2011
Good news for music fans with vision loss: Apple adds accessibility features to iPod nano and iTunes – September 18, 2008


  1. This is a great idea, I’m surprised intelligent Cochlear implants haven’t been around earlier, especially after those goofy glasses. Plus it gives something for those down under, after all they aren’t holden much these days.

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