Apple has joined hands with Australia-based hearing assistance company Cochlear to launch the first iPhone-compatible cochlear sound processor implant.
Approved by the US Food and Drug Administration in June, Cochlear’s Nucleus 7 Sound Processor can now stream sound directly from a compatible iPhone, iPad or iPod touch to the sound processor, techcrunch.com reported on Thursday.
“We wanted to see something that could become ubiquitous out in the world,” Sarah Herrlinger, senior manager (global accessibility policy and initiatives) at Apple, was quoted as telling TechCrunch.
“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,” added Chris Smith, CEO at Cochlear.
The new Nucleus 7 comes with a longer battery life and is also smaller and 24 per cent lighter than its predecessor, the Nucleus 6 Sound Processor, making it ideal for small children with hearing loss as well.
Accessing the control settings for Cochlear implant has been made relatively easy.
Those who get the new Nucleus 7 Sound Processor or others made for iPhone hearing aid can simply go to their iPhone settings, click on “General” and then click “Accessibility.”
Scrolling down, one can see a list of different “hearing devices.” Tap on that and then the device would show up the way a Bluetooth device would. The implant will then pair with your iPhone.
As soon as the implant is paired up, it can be controlled using the iPhone’s volume controls, just like headphones or another Bluetooth-enabled device.
Although lots of Apple-compatible hearing products already exist, they require iOS apps to control sound and other features. However, Cochlear’s newest processor is controlled by the phone itself and does not require an app download, the report said.