Amazing what an open platform, or at least licensed published platform operating system, on ubiquitous gear, can do for innovation, and consumer interest.
It should come as no real wonder though. Having even a sense of control in, and over our lives is a very personal, and compelling urge for most of humanity. Personal control over as much of our lives as possible, bears at the very heart of what most of us consider what freedom to be all about.
Smartphone, and computer applications that give consumers even the illusion of being able to exert greater control over our lives, and the devices that in habit, and enhance our lives, are sure to become big hits.
The growing, worldwide ubiquity of these devices will move this, mostly consumer driven force, as it evolves through the certifying, calibrating, calculating processes, and where applicable, licensing arrangements, into a viable market. One where consumers get greater control over the gear that they own, and the manufacturers, vendors and servicers turn an honest nickel, or two for their gear, labor and brains.
The inherent connectivity, and sheer processing power available in the chips that power today’s hearing aids, hold incredible promise for such application based, consumer control.
Yet, while there are some forty thousand applications for everything from calorie counting to blood pressure monitoring, there isn’t one, that even begins to unlock the application, sound, and communications processing potential inherent, in the ear level devices we know as today’s hearing aids.
In the dreams of my future, not only will smartphones, and tablets be ubiquitous, the ear level, receiver in the canal devices, that were thought of in the past, as hearing aids will be too. But, we won’t think about them that way. They’ll simply be a part of our everyday kit. Just our ear gear. Everybody’s got a pair, I mean come on, without stereo streaming you’re nowhere man.
When I put on my ear gear of the future, they connect automatically with each other, my iPad, Droid, and via the wifi in my iPad, with Rexton, their manufacturer, for any critical performance, or security updates.
The sun isn’t up, and there is a nice breeze blowing off the south Atlantic to keep the mosquitos from vectoring, a strong hint of salt, night blooming flowers and tropical spice in the air. I grab a fresh mug of coffee, my iPad and take a seat under the schefflera, where the orchids are hung and open the bird call application and log for my backyard bird calls on my iPad.
I don’t have long to wait. The soft trill of one of our local screech owls carries in from somewhere to my east.
The application automatically synchronized with my ear gear when I opened it. The owl’s call was recognized, plotted and triangulated using the four microphone array provided through my ear gear, and the location automatically logged in my backyard bird call log.
Using the iPad’s GPS, the location of this call is automatically plotted, and compared with previous calls, which show a variety of perches in within a radius that makes up the backyard call log. A small picture of the owl hovers in a corner of the app.
My mind is brought back to the sound of early morning in the subtropics by the a loud screech of a night heron, off to the east. Though too far away to plot distance accurately, based upon known and compared intensity, the bearing puts these noisy stalkers somewhere near the spillway on Turkey Creek, about a half a mile away. Again the application automatically logs this along with the other calls.
I am about to check the log for the last time we heard a sandhill when I’m interrupted by a paw batting my mustache. I awake and remember that open platform, application based hearing healthcare, is still very much a thing of my dreams, and that it’s time to let Mr. Snoots out, and make the coffee to begin another day in paradise.