Audiology in Brief Inspired by the fly’s remarkable capabilities to localize sound sources within 1Р2 degrees of accuracy, Ron Miles, a Binghamton University engineer, built a set of hearing aids that use miniature directional microphones to imitate the ears of the Ormia ochracea fly. Unlike most hearing aids, which fail to cut ... News in Brief
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News in Brief  |   February 01, 2010
Audiology in Brief
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Hearing Disorders / Hearing Aids, Cochlear Implants & Assistive Technology / News in Brief
News in Brief   |   February 01, 2010
Audiology in Brief
The ASHA Leader, February 2010, Vol. 15, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.15022010.5
The ASHA Leader, February 2010, Vol. 15, 5. doi:10.1044/leader.NIB.15022010.5
Will Fly-Inspired Hearing Aids Take Off?
Inspired by the fly’s remarkable capabilities to localize sound sources within 1Р2 degrees of accuracy, Ron Miles, a Binghamton University engineer, built a set of hearing aids that use miniature directional microphones to imitate the ears of the Ormia ochracea fly. Unlike most hearing aids, which fail to cut through background noise, Miles’s devices improve the user’s ability to understand speech in noisy environments. Supported by funding from the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD), Miles hopes to use this technology to create a new generation of hearing aids.
FDA Panel Backs Implantable Hearing Aid
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advisory panel has recommended that the agency approve an implantable hearing aid developed by Envoy Medical Corporation.
The device, called the Esteem® hearing restoration system, received a rare unanimous vote by the 15-member FDA panel. The vote is a recommendation only; the FDA must formally approve the device before it can be marketed in the United States. The FDA, however, typically follows the advisory panel’s recommendations.
If approved, the implantable hearing aid will cost about $30,000, including the device, surgery, and follow-up audiometric testing. The device is approved in Europe and has been implanted in 250 people worldwide. The company reports that in its 57-patient clinical trial, patients’ speech understanding at a quiet conversation level improved by more than 45%, on average, compared with the patients’ speech understanding using conventional hearing aids.
Google Adds Captions to YouTube
To make videos on YouTube accessible to people who are deaf and hard of hearing, Google unveiled new technologies called “auto-timing” that automatically bring text captions to many videos. This technology also will open YouTube videos to a wider foreign market and make them more searchable. Although the technology can insert captions only for English-language speech, Google is giving users the choice of using its automatic translation system to read the captions in 51 languages.
Google also introduced a related service that gives YouTube users the option to upload a text file of the words spoken in a video when they upload it. Google will turn the text file into captions, automatically matching the spoken words with the files.
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February 2010
Volume 15, Issue 2