New Cochlear hearing implant tech will stream directly from iPhones & other Apple devices

in iPhone
An upcoming Cochlear sound processor -- the Nucleus 7 -- will reportedly let people stream audio directly to hearing implants from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch.

Until now, Cochlear users wanting that convenience have had to wear a special Bluetooth accessory alongside their processor, Reuters said on Wednesday. The Nucleus 7 is due to ship in September -- buyers will be able to upgrade without installing a new implant.

Apple has worked on protocols for hearing aid makers in the past, most notably Starkey and GN ReSound. The company's director of global accessibility policy -- Sarah Herrlinger -- told Reuters that implants have presented a special challenge, since audiologists may not prescribe matching implants and/or hearing aids.

"We had to figure out how you could do a bi-modal solution where you're able to simultaneously pair, control and hear both of them running at the same time," Herrlinger said.

Apple has placed a comparatively high value on accessibility technologies. The Apple Watch, for instance, offers a special wheelchair mode, which changes up labels and features in the Activity and Workout apps.
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