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As technology advances and the world becomes more and more connected to their phones, a hearing aid that acts as a phone is surely soon to come. A bit of research shows that some companies are working on a hearing aid that doubles as a phone but it appears the execution has not been nailed yet.
The idea of a hearing aid doubling as a phone makes great sense. Imagine having a hearing aid in both ears and then having to remove one to answer a call that comes into your mobile.
Certainly this scenario plays out thousands of times a day. Even if wearers of hearing aids are not forced to remove their hearing aids, it is not the best experience using a mobile phone while the aid is still in place.
In 2007, a German company introduced a prototype of a hearing aid/cell phone that looked slick and utilized blue tooth technology. Unfortunately, there were tons of bugs with the device and despite its good looks it simply did not work.
It seems, at this point, that the best answer for this situation is a hearing aid that is able to plug into a phone or connect to it via a blue tooth connection. This seems the best solution in that it keeps hearing aid makers focused on hearing aids and phone makers focused on the phone.
It seems that this solution is more expensive to the user in that it still requires the purchase of both the hearing aid and the phone but it does avoid the problem of removing a hearing aid to take a call.
There will certainly be a day when a major hearing aid brand such as Siemens, Rexton or Oticon partner with a phone maker to create the dual-purpose device but for now, a connectable hearing aid is the solution.
The other direction this concept could go would be the route of amplified mobile phones. Amplified phones have been used in the homes of hearing impaired people for a long time with success.
If mobile phones could provide enough volume, they could be used by people who require hearing aids. The challenge, however, is getting mobile phones to be loud enough. Likely this hurdle is too high and people will continue to use technologies that allows them to take calls while their hearing aids are still being worn.
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