How Virtual Assistants Can Assist Those with Hearing Loss

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How Virtual Assistants Can Assist Those with Hearing Loss

How Virtual Assistants Can Assist Those with Hearing Loss
Peter Lucier, HIS

Technology gets smarter every day. Smartphones, computers, and smart speakers get smaller and faster every day. Virtual assistants like Siri can help you stay organized and make your life easier.

Hearing aid technology is also getting more advanced each year. Some hearing aids are compatible with your smartphone and smart speaker, and some hearing aids even use AI to help you hear.

What are Smartphone Virtual Assistants?

If you’ve ever used Alexa or Siri, you’ve used your smartphone’s virtual assistant. These virtual assistants respond to voice commands, and they’d run whatever program you ask. For example, you can ask them to show you nearby restaurants, look up the daily weather, or even call a friend. You can get your virtual assistant to do all these things for you, without even looking at your phone. Some of the most popular virtual assistants are Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, and Cortana.

Virtual Assistants Assist People with Hearing Loss 

If you have hearing loss, your virtual assistant can make your life easier.

  • Get reminders: Do you forget to take your meds, or forget to clean your hearing aids? Your virtual assistant can give you automated reminders. For example, you can set a reminder to take your medications every day at 9am. At this time, your virtual assistant will speak up, and remind you that it’s time to take your meds.
  • Morning or evening routines: Are there things you want to do every morning or evening? You and program one voice command to start a whole routine. For example, you can say “good morning Alexa” and the virtual assistant will do the morning routine. You can set your routine to include turning up the volume on your phone ringer, reading out reminders of anything on your calendar for the day, reminding you to put in your hearing aids, and even read you the weather or the news. 
  • Hands-free calling: One convenient feature of virtual assistants is that they facilitate hands-free calling. A simple voice command like “call my daughter” or “call 9-1-1” will automatically dial the phone, place the phone on speakerphone mode, and turn up the volume.
  • Making Lists: Virtual assistants can help in a number of other ways, for example letting you make a grocery list or dictate a quick note. You don’t need to keep a pen and paper on hand, you just tell your assistant to make a note. 

Virtual Assistant’s Voices Are Programmable 

If you have hearing loss, some voices may be harder to hear than others. For example, higher-pitched voices, such as women’s voices, can be more difficult to hear. You can change your virtual assistant’s voice so you can easily understand what they’re saying. Some programmable features include:

  • Changing your assistant’s language or accent
  • Making them speak in full sentences, or asking for short answers instead
  • Programing the speed at which they talk
  • Adjusting their volume so they speak louder

Hearing Aids Can Connect to Your Smartphone

Some hearing aids offer exciting new features that let you wirelessly connect your hearing aids to your smartphone, computer, or TV. This means that anytime you play audio from your phone, it will stream directly to your hearing aids. This includes audio from phone calls, music, driving directions, and even the voice of your virtual assistant. You can ask your virtual assistant to read a recipe, read your emails, or read your appointments for the day, and hear everything right in your ears.

Hearing Aid with Artificial Intelligence

Some hearing aids are developing built-in artificial intelligence (AI) programs designed to help you hear even better than before. AI programs can remember your preferred settings for different listening environments, and automatically adjust next time you’re in that listening environment. You won’t have to manually adjust your devices, and you can spend your time enjoying clear hearing.

When you first get your new hearing aids, you’ll need to teach your AI program your preferred settings. Once they learn what settings work the best for your unique hearing loss, they’ll automatically adjust your hearing devices to help you hear. 

Are you ready to find hearing aids with connectivity features, or hearing aids with new AI technology? Contact us to find out more about modern hearing technology, and how these programs can make it even easier to hear.

 

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