The Oticon Opn is an internet-connected hearing aid that works like stereo headphones with surround sound.
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Innovations in hearing assistance range from real-time theater captioning to hearing aids that double as fashion accessories. Now, through customization and connectivity, hearing device specialist Oticon’s latest creation, the Oticon Opn, uses a microchip system to recreate realistic surround sound. The hearing aids are also internet-enabled, allowing wearers to connect to the If This Then That (IFTTT) system for custom sound management.
The left and right devices communicate, providing wearers with accurate spatial awareness of where sound is coming from. Via Bluetooth, the hearing aids also act as stereo headphones. Wearers can answer phone calls, listen to the TV and radio and chat via internet applications. With IFTTT, users can set up bespoke alerts and tasks. These can range from an in-ear alert when the doorbell rings to linking a baby monitor to the system or turning on the coffee machine whenever the hearing aids are activated.
Child versions are also available, and the Oticon ON app lets users manage settings via their smartphones. How could specialist smart devices be adapted for more widespread use?