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January 28, 2011

Smartphone improve Cochlear Implants and iPhone iCar app makes iphone into an accident blackbox

1. Many cochlear implant users may soon be able to easily modify the settings on their hearing devices using a smartphone interface, selecting one setting for a bustling restaurant, another for a hushed library.





The technology, which centers on creating an interface between mobile devices and FDA-approved cochlear implants manufactured by Cochlear Ltd., replaces the speech processor that cochlear implant users wear behind the ear.

Attached to the inner ear of profoundly deaf people by an array of 16 to 22 electrodes, cochlear implants have restored partial hearing to more than 180,000 people.

Several audio-processing techniques have been developed over the years that improved the benefits derived from cochlear implants, enabling moderate levels of speech understanding today. Loizou’s research focuses on developing new speech- and sound-processing strategies that further improve the levels of speech performance, particularly in noisy environments.

“The new technology will provide a great deal of flexibility to cochlear implant users to change the programs in their device as they please and thus to optimize their listening experience in different environments,” Loizou said. “Current implant patients do not have such flexibility.”

The new technology will also enable cochlear implant users to get additional help by recording speech and other environmental sounds that they find particularly challenging.

2. There are dedicated blackbox video camera devices for your car and now there is a 99 cent app for your iphone

The iCar app uses the phone’s GPS to keep a constant record of your speed – very important if a dispute arises as to who was to blame for an accident. It also utilizes the GPS, clock and date functions to create a map that displays where and when an accident took place.

Additionally, it only saves footage when instructed to do so, so you’re not left with hours of images to sift through. It uses the phone’s accelerometer to detect when an accident has (presumably) taken place, and then verbally asks if you wish to save. If you press OK on the screen, it then retroactively saves the footage leading up to the accident. Should a Bigfoot cross the road in front of you, or something else happens that you think should be saved for posterity, you can also start recording at any time by touching the Emergency Record icon.

In the event of an accident, it will ask if you wish to autodial 911, or a pre-assigned emergency contact number – a feature shared by the Tiwi teen driver monitoring syste
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