Many people with hearing loss find it difficult to get a full experience of online content streaming.
To solve this problem, Amazon has launched an application that will allow the streaming device to communicate directly with the cochlear implanted in the ear, to give users more comfortable access to the content of the Fire TV device, which is the streaming device that not only contains Amazon services, but also allows the use of Other applications, such as “HBO Max”, “Netflix”, and “Hulu”. Amazon has signed a partnership with Australian Kochler, one of the world’s largest makers of artificial snails.
The cochlear implant is different from other hearing aids. Because it is intended for people who suffer from deep deafness or great difficulty in hearing, that is, cases in which amplifying the volume is not useful. These devices, which consist of an outer and an inner piece surgically implanted in the inner ear, detect signals, then bypass damaged parts of the ear and deliver the signals to the auditory nerve and the brain, which processes them as sounds.
At first, the sounds generated by a cochlear implant may be difficult to control. “Customers who use a cochlear implant have to relearn sounds because the things they hear don’t sound the same to them before, and this is seriously problematic when it comes to things like television,” says Peter Korn, director of device accessibility at Amazon.
When sounds come out of the TV speakers, they travel around the room, echo off the wall, and then are absorbed by the furniture. And when it reaches the ear of a person wearing a cochlear implant, the sound has lost its clarity, and this is what prompts many to avoid watching television.
TV and microphone
Korn explains that the new Amazon-developed Bluetooth connection bypasses the TV speaker and goes directly to a small microphone built into the cochlea and produces “clearer and clearer signals.”
About 183,000 people in the United States and 737,000 people worldwide use cochlear implants, while many more rely on hearing aids that amplify sound.
Last year, Amazon teamed up with Starky to provide the same service to people who use hearing aids. The new innovation uses the same principle and the same open-source technical protocol known as “ASHA” (Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids), meaning “audio streaming for hearing aids”, which was originally designed for hearing aids.
One of the most prominent advantages of the new “Amazon” service is that it exempts users from purchasing special streaming devices for the owners of these cases that mediate between television, hearing aids, and snails, such as the wireless “Cotcher” device, which costs up to $ 200. “These additional costs are often seen as an unfair tax on disability, given that people with special needs have to pay to access the same services as others,” Korn says. So, people who have a Fire streaming device and a cochlear implant made by Kochiller can start using Amazon’s new technology, which includes all the content available on Fire TV. Finally, Korn stresses that his company “worked with all content streaming companies to achieve this goal.”
* «Fast Company»
– Tribune Media services