Have hearing aids really advanced since my parents wore them? We get this question a lot in our offices as well as at our educational seminars.
Yes- And one of the new advances comes from a silicon valley startup called Whisper who wants to revolutionize the industry. It has designed AI (artificial intelligence) powered hearing aids that learn over time to be more effective for each wearer.
The device is meant to deal with the many types of hearing loss that a person can experience. Keeping in mind that more than 38 million people in the U.S. alone struggle with some form of hearing loss, a device like Whisper could be a tremendous breakthrough.
They Get Better! Most hearing aids pack all of their electronics into a small unit that sits behind the wearer’s ear. In the interest of size and vanity, that strategy is nice. However, it doesn’t leave room for many high-tech features.
Whisper uses an additional piece to add AI features to its hearing aids. Whisper calls this the “brain” and the patient carries thisaround in their pocket or purse. It is where the processors live that let the device learn over time.
Whisper wants to ensure that professional Hearing Aid Professionals are still part of the process. As a result, each new wearer needs to be fitted for the device during a visit to the hearing aid professional like the ones at california hearing center.
From the testing and fitting from your hearing professional, Whisper goes to work. A pair of processors in each earpiece amplify sounds like a normal hearing aid. Thus, Whisper can work normally without the brain component if it is forgotten or runs out of batteries.Whisper’s AI constantly processes sounds from the wearer’s environment.
The entire Whisper system is fairly unique. Although it isn’t the only AI-enhanced hearing aid on the market, the great thing about whisper is that it is not just the device you get on day one in the office. It learns and gets better!
So much effort and time has gone into making the device the best it can be. Rather than relying on a Bluetooth connection between each hearing aid and the brain, Whisper built its own wireless connectivity tech. This eliminates lag and enables real-time AI audio processing. Whisper is approved by the FDA as a regulated hearing aid device. For now, it is available as a subscription for $139 per month. At this time, there are still trial programs available through exclusive offices, such as California Hearing Center where you can be part of a learning group who will give their feedback in exchange for $500 off of the product. California Hearing Center carries the Whisper AI Learning Hearing Aid and we have been one of the earliest offices to carry it.