Whether you are an Android user or iPhone user (or a user of yet another brand of phone), you know that every phone brand is constantly adding new features and updates to outdo one another. It has become common to hear about new cameras, new phone sizes, new operating systems, and more.
Google has recently launched two new features for Android phones, however, that do more than take better photos or allow you to fold your phone. Hearing-impaired users, rejoice! These two new features are destined to make life easier. And for those in the audiology field, it is important to take note of these new features that may be able to assist your patients in their everyday lives.
Here is a quick breakdown of the two new Android features, now available in the Google Play Store, that are making a difference in the lives of hearing-impaired users:
- Sound Amplifier – Just like the name implies, this feature amplifies sound. However, it does so in a smart way—Sound Amplifier filters and enhances sounds by increasing quiet sounds without raising louder sounds.
- Live Transcribe (Beta) – This app picks up sound through the phone’s microphone and converts the sound to real-time captioning on the phone screen. Google worked with the federally chartered Gallaudet University for the deaf in Washington, DC, to develop this feature.
Google also released a new video that demonstrates how real-life, hearing-impaired people are using Live Transcribe. In the video, deaf Google research scientist Dimitri Kanevsky uses Live Transcribe in meetings and other everyday activities to help him communicate with others.
The video also features a deaf professor from Gallaudet University, Dr. Mohammad Obiedat (professor of Mathematics and Information Technology), using Live Transcribe. He uses the app to communicate with his two hearing children, who know only limited sign language. Dr. Obiedat even says he would be comfortable using Live Transcribe in situations where he does not have an interpreter available.
These new Android features are certain to make life easier for hearing-impaired users. Sound Amplifier, Live Transcribe, and other new technological advances are gradually making it simpler for the hearing impaired and people with normal hearing to communicate effectively with each other.
As an audiologist, you can also provide your patients with treatment that can be complemented by these technological advances. You may want to consider asking your hearing-impaired patients whether they have an Android phone, and if so, showing them how to use Sound Amplifier and Live Transcribe. This is just another way you can provide value to your patients and show them how much you care about their everyday lives and experiences.
If you are interested in learning more about technological advances for individuals with hearing loss, or if you would like to discover how technology is changing the face of audiology, we welcome you to contact us today at AudiologyPlus. We keep our finger on the pulse of the audiology world to help you better serve and connect with your patients.
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