Medical equipment

Insect-Inspired Hearing Aid Designs

Why is it that wearing glasses (used to improve vision impairment) is considered an intelligent-look-boost, while wearing hearing aids, an elderly people characteristic? Hearing aid devices are used for the same purpose – to improve our performance. In order to get the desired results, it is of utmost importance that the body interacts well with these technological devices. For that purpose, they need to be well-designed and made to help improve hearing.

Unlike old hearing devices, modern hearing aids are significantly improved and are incredible effective in boosting hearing abilities. These devices come with a lot of efficient digital features, such as directional microphones, digital noise reduction, wireless connectivity, remote control, data logging and many other features that improve patient’s ability to hear and have a better life. And the best part is that there is still much room for improvement.

insect-inspired-hearing-aid

The latest trend in Melbourne audiology clinics and all around Australia, is the insect-inspired hearing aids. Let’s take a look at some of their unique features.

- As the name indicates, the inspiration for these devices has been the world of insects. However, insects cannot convert and amplify the sound waves into information that their brain can use. To make hearing aids as efficient as they can get, scientists are using insects to solve this problem in a plenty of ways that are more effective than our own.

- As anyone involved in Melbourne audiology clinics would guess, the hearing organs of insects are sensitive to a wider range of frequencies and smaller in size, so they are able to detect sounds that humans cannot. Insects are also capable of sensing the distance and directionality of sound more accurately than humans. In the past, the design of hearing aids was guided by the way human ear perceives sounds, and today, hearing aids are based on insects’ hearing. That means that they have the tendency to amplify all of the incoming sounds and transmit them to the middle ear. Melbourne audiology experts and scientists are about to come up with a much more efficient hearing aid designs.

- Inspired by the smallest beings on Earth, scientists and Melbourne audiology experts are performing a lot of researches in order to discover a new, reliable design for hearing aids. Flies, butterflies and grasshoppers are some of the commonly examined inspects and scientists are looking for a way to use their sound characteristics to create a new, efficient miniature microphone. The inspect-inspired miniature microphone is expected to provide an extended battery life and to locate the source and distance of sound more accurately. To improve the ergonomics of these hearing aids, researchers are exploring a 3D printing procedure. Who knows, maybe they will even create a hearing aid that can restore normal hearing.

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