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Bionic Ears

Helga Velroyen
Chaos Communication Congress 28th (28C3) 2011
Indexed on
Mar 27, 2013
File name
File size
436.6 MB

In many social situations being hearing impaired is a serious handicap, not only for elderly people. Today's hearing aids are tiny computers that do a decent job in signal processing. During the last years, the progress in this technology was significant, amongst other things by switching from analog to digital devices. Since this field becomes more and more related to computer technology, there is even more improvement to be expected. In particular, it turns into a more and more interesting playground for hackers. Unfortunately, we are still quite far away from what was promised as the future in that 70es TV series "The Bionic Woman" [1]. Starting with a brief introduction about audiology, I will present current technical solutions (and political non-solutions) for hearing aids. Besides the hearing aids themselves, there exist a couple of interesting peripheral solutions for specific situations such as using the phone, listening to concerts and talks, or just consuming music with an mp3 player. All these not only enhance the user's life, they also open the door for creative hacks. Although the hearing-aid hacking community is still rather small, I will present some current projects and ideas for future ones.

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