Tags: AB, Advanced Bionics, BEA, Bionic Ear, Cochlear Implants, MP3, Naida CI Q70, neptune, The future, Water Resistant
It is 3 years now since I got my AB Harmony Processor switched on! 3 YEARS! Time has flown. Those three years have been a real rollercoaster of a ride. I still wish I had never had the misfortune of losing my hearing suddenly and admittedly those days are tough. Thank fully those days are lessening and it is thanks to my CI that I have been able to lead a pretty normal life since.
So, whats been going on? I have made some really cool new friends among the CI world and had the pleasure recently to meet up with some at the BEA Annual Meeting in York last month. It was at this gathering we were able to have a proper hands on play with the new processor that AB have released. There has been a lot of talk about it in the CI world and it was really exciting to see it in the flesh and get a proper explanation from the AB pro’s as to what it can actually do!
One of the most pleasing things about it is it’s size! IT’S 40% SMALLER! I have never had a problem with the current processors size. My wife tells me I have big ears! The Naida CI is so small and lightweight that when I tried it on it didn’t feel like I had it on at all. This is fantastic for all people with smaller ears than me and that includes children. Any parents looking to get 1 or 2 CI’s for their child should really consider the Naida.
I took some pictures so you can see for yourselves what it(and it’s extras) look like.
There is plenty more to shout about this new processor so if you want any more info then just click on the pictures above or follow this LINK 🙂
Now – by using the Phonak ComPilot you will be able to connect to all your gadgets wirelessly! The Naida processor has 5 programme slot so, if you are like me and want a programme for every eventuality then this is great.
In simple terms, when wearing this ComPilot around your neck (under you clothing if you wish to hide it) you can then connect directly to any Bluetooth connected gadget. Listen to music on your smartphone and if a call comes in that is sent straight to your CI too. Connect to computers, tablets, phones, TV’s (with the Phonak TV Link) and even Sat Navs too!
So, what’s next on the horizon!!
Well the eagle eyed of you (in the CI world) may have noticed that the headpiece on the Naida is the same headpiece as you get with the Neptune CI. (See previous posts). Well, there is a very good reason for this. As I have said before…….the Neptune is the only 100% waterproof CI on the market. The clever bods at AB have linked the two CI’s (Naida and Neptune) and used the same headpiece for both. The reason for this is that it wont be long before an AQUA PACK accessory will be released to use with the Naida. This will not be some disposable bag that some other designs have but a fully water proof plastic case to fit the Nadia and protect it from the water. As the headpiece has a microphone itself and is water proof it can then be used to play in the water too!! Amazing!! I can’t say any more on this as I haven’t seen it but I can tell you its coming!
Well, if you’ve read this far…….well done and thanks!!
I’ll update more info as it comes through.
Tags: Bionic Ear, CI, Cochlear Implants, Deafened adult, Speech, SSHL, switch on, The future, wind, windjammer
It’s almost a year since my switch on and about 7 months since my last post.
I have learnt to adapt to my CI very well but I still have problems in group or noisy situations. One of the problems I have recently solved seems so simple I wonder if anyone else with a CI has done the same? The problem is WIND! It is a problem that all CI users have and it is really annoying if you are outside on a breezy or windy day having a chat and you are constantly interupted by this gush of wind which completely kills off anything you might hear at that point.
More recently I have been doing a lot of cycling to train for a charity bike ride. I find the wind when cycling really annoying and actually can be a safety problem as traffic noise is harder to hear.
Well, not one to sit back and take it I have been doing some research and it appears there is nothing on the market for AB CI users to stop this wind problem. I cant quite believe it and I am happy if anyone can correct me on this. I have therefore found my own solution and I have been testing it out. Not to be too smug……….but it works brilliantly!!
It’s called a ‘windjammer’ and is a little sponge microphone cover that you see people on TV using on their lapel or tie microphones. I contacted a local manufacturer and asked for their advice. After sending the a picture of my CI they were able to recommend their smallest ‘windjammer’ for me to try. It cost me about £10 for 5 of them and they work brilliantly!!
Now this solution will only work with Advanced Bionics CI’s as they are the only ones with a mic in the ear. You also have to be 100% in the ear mic or you will still get some wind noise from the aux mic on the top of the unit.
Problem solved!!! 🙂
Roll on the summer and BBQ’s and more wind!!!
Tags: CI operation, Cochlear Implants, Deafened adult, fully implanted cochlear implants, Hearing loss & Cochlear Implant journey, SSHL, Sudden deafness, The future
Read this aloud and your inner ear, by itself, will be carrying out at least the equivalent of a billion floating-point operations per second, about the workload of a typical game console. The inner ear together with the brain can distinguish sounds that have intensities ranging over 120 decibels, from the roar of a jet engine to the rustle of a leaf, and it can pick out one conversation from among dozens in a crowded room. It is a feat no artificial system comes close to matching.
But what’s truly amazing is the neural system’s efficiency. Consuming about 50 watts, that game console throws off enough heat to bake a cookie, whereas the inner ear uses just 14 microwatts and could run for 15 years on one AA battery. If engineers could borrow nature’s tricks, maybe they could build faster, better, and smaller devices that don’t literally burn holes in our pockets. The idea, called neuromorphic engineering, has been around for 20 years, and its first fruits are finally approaching the market.
The likely first application is bionics–the use of devices implanted into the nervous system to help the deaf, blind, paralyzed, and others. There are two reasons for this choice: the biological inspiration crosses over to the application, and the premium on energy efficiency is particularly important.
Bionic ears are a case in point. Today’s device, called a cochlear implant, consists of an implanted electrode array; a bulky, power-hungry digital-signal processor worn outside the ear; and a wireless link that conveys data and power to the implanted electrodes. In the near future, these devices will be fully implanted inside the body so that deaf people will be indistinguishable from everyone else in both appearance and, we hope, ability to hear. In the past year, a lab at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology has completed work on a bionic-ear processor that does the job of the digital-signal processor, is small enough to be implanted, and could run on a 2-gram battery needing a wireless recharge only every two weeks [see illustration, “Mimicking the Ear“]. As the best batteries currently available can be recharged about 1000 times, this device is the first to permit 30-year operation without surgery to replace the battery.
Neuromorphic engineering and, more generally, biologically inspired electronics are still in their infancy, but practitioners have already accomplished amazing things. These include the attempt to understand biological systems, such as the retina of the human eye and the sonar systems of bats, by modeling them in microchips. Some of the lessons learned have been turned to practical purposes–for instance, applying the principles of vision in the housefly to the control of robotic motion and designing radio-frequency spectrum analyzers that mimic the architecture of the human inner ear. Some devices now measure oxygen saturation in the blood with sensors and processors inspired by the photoreceptors in our eyes; others employ pattern-recognition circuits that rely on the mix of analog and digital features found in the brain.
One of biology’s big power-saving secrets is that it relies on the physics of special-purpose structures, such as ears and eyes, to do a lot of analog computing. Ears, for example, are complex structures that by their inherent physics alone perform filtering, frequency-spectrum analysis, and signal compression–all before the signals are transmitted to the brain. Many of the initial insights into biology’s computing efficiency originated with Carver Mead, professor emeritus at the California Institute of Technology, in Pasadena–the founding father of neuromorphic engineering.
But ears, eyes, and even individual brain cells also have a digital aspect. Brain cells, or neurons, can be viewed as special-purpose analog-to-digital converters. They recognize particular patterns of voltage inputs from other neurons, integrate these signals in an analog manner, and then output a digital-like signal, a voltage spike (1) or its absence (0). Output spikes from one neuron act as inputs to the next neuron. And this simple process, amplified and repeated by billions of interconnected neurons, leads to movement, hearing, thought, and everything else under our brain’s control.
Analog devices in the ear, such as the eardrum and the cochlea, process sound. The ear then digitizes the processed sound signal by encoding it as spikes of voltage that travel down the auditory nerve to the brain, which interprets the spikes to distinguish a jazz tune from an oncoming train or a whisper. Because the ear has already done a great deal of analog computation on the sound, the information it provides the brain is more compact and far better suited than raw sound to human tasks, such as understanding what a child is whispering in a crowded movie theater. This scheme of low-power analog processing followed by digitization is one of the most important lessons biology has to teach designers of electronics.