Category Archives: Stumbled upon

Hearing Aid World meets Open Source

To my delight, I found out that my 28c3 talk was recently linked from an article on (which is the German slashdot).

I love to see that by now there are projects pursuing what I was calling for in my talk. That hearing aid hardware and software development becomes more open and accessible to every geek out there.

Btw. In case you are wondering: while I share the first name with the author of this article, it’s not me 🙂

This and that

Yeah, yeah, long time now see. I am still around. 🙂 Here are some interesting things I picked up here and there:

  • Frank Swain – Meet the Cyborgs (Podcast), 30min
    Frank at some point faced hearing loss, got hearing aids and then took it from here. Today he can hear Wifi-signals. Interesting podcast about him and other people who turned their disability into some crazy ability.
  • Not about hearing, but nice story about a little girl who gets an ear prothesis 3D-printed.
  • An application that might make hearing aids popular among the general public: in-ear piece that does real-time language translations.
  • Love this article about a lady ‘modding’ hearing aids to look pretty. Nothing to be ashamed of!
  • Deep Learning arrived in hearing aids (although admittedly I thought that happened a while ago …)
  • Have you ever wondered how sign language works in a technical environment? What if there is no sign for “DDOS attack”? This article tells you (unfortunately only in German).
  • Finally a plan to transmit train station announcements to hearing aids (article in German).
  • Oticon introduces first product using “IfThisThenThat” protocol, opening up the market for interesting applications, such as notifying your family when your ears need new batteries (article in German).
  • Olive: an Indiegogo project to produce affordable hearing aids.
  • Last one about visibility: Josh Feldman Had Never Seen a Gay, Deaf Character on TV, So He Made One Himself

Bits around hearing and acoustics

I have been rather silent these days. I don’t do much actively in the field of hearing and acoustics. But I do follow the media and once in a while I stumble upon interesting articles that I like to share with you.

Take-away from 32c3

I attended the 32c3 last year and watched the talk “Unpatchable“, a talk which is related to hacking medical devices. In this case it wasn’t hearing aids, but pacemakers. Interestingly, the speakers raised similar questions as I did in my talk at 28c3.

The questions being for example:

  • This device is part of my body, why do I not know what code is in it?
  • How can I trust that the device is not vulnerable from the outside?
  • Does a doctor have to tell me when he flashes the firmware or that the device is tracking my very personal data?

Agreeable, the consequences for patients wearing pace makers are more impactful than for patients wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants. However, I still found the talk worth watching, I hope you do too.



This and that

I don’t have many activities in the hearing aid field going on myself, but since I still follow the news in the field and receive pointers here and there, I thought, I’ll write up some of the interesting stuff.

Apple’s plans to improve support for the hearing impaired

I was recently (and repeatedly ;)) pointed to these news.

My personal opinion is that I am sceptical, if this is really aimed to actually help the hearing impaired or if it is just one piece in the game of patents. Even if this will yield to actual products, it might certainly not make the market any more open (at least with apple’s history, that would surprise me). I hope we do not end up in a scenario where you can only use Apple products with Apple hearing aids.

But maybe I am wrong and Apple will surprise me. We will see. 🙂