Bio-Enhancements (Bionic ear)

What would it take to improve on what nature has provided? I ask myself that question and I come up with a number of answers. The first enhancement that comes to mind is better hearing. As we age our hearing naturally degrades, but there are a number of enhancements that everyone could benefit from.

Imagine a small implant like the invisible hearing aids that exist today, that could connect to your phone or you car. Here are some things to think about:

  • I would like to be able to listen to my music without having to use a head set.
  • I would like to be able to filter a conversation that I find interesting out of a crowd.
  • I would like to have my hearing turned down when the sound exceeds safe levels like at a rock concert.
  • I would like to be able to talk on the phone without holding it up to my ear.
  • I would like to hear what’s going on outside my car.
  • I would like to know when my car or another piece of equipment is making a new sound.
  • I would like to hear my coach when I am in the game.
  • I would like conversations that include tagged words brought to my attention.
  • I would like to hear better under water.
  • I would like to give my wife’s voice priority.
  • I would like to filter out other people who complain or talk when they should be listening.
  • I would like my music to be turned down and my hearing enhanced when a car is approaching me on my bicycle.
  • I would like to be warned when my heart rate reaches an unsafe level.
  • I would like to keep private conservations private.

So how do we accomplish these things? There are several ways actually, but we could start by adapting invisible hearing technology to work in concert with our mobile devices. Current hearing technology is tuned by the retailer for each individual. If we consider what is happening with SDN and take a page from that book, we could modify the response of hearing technology dynamically using the compute resources in our mobile devices. We could use our mobile devices to enhance the capabilities of the hearing technology to add depth.

People have been talking for a while about wearable technology for years, here is a low hanging fruit that would appeal to everyone. I’d buy hearing enhancement…


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