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: AB, BEA, Bionic Ear, Cochlear Implants, Hearing loss, Hearing loss & Cochlear Implant journey, Water Resistant
This time last year I was testing out the new Neptune CI Processor from Advanced Bionics. It is a very clever device that can be made 100% waterproof. This is a life changer and I was really lucky to be able to try it out. Swimming with my kids again and actually being able to hear them and for them to be able to interact with me was amazing.
The local paper did an article about it and you can read it here if you are interested!!
Sadly I have had to give the Neptune back to the hospital. But as with everything Advanced Bionics the future is not far away and I have some great news about their latest processor and the amazing gadgets that will come with it!!
More to follow!!
Tags: Batteries, CI, CI tests, Cornwall, Telephones, Wasps, Water Resistant
Life has been incredibly hectic since my last post and I have been testing my CI t0 it’s max………in more ways than one!!
Progress has been more steady over the last month and I am noticing that others are noticing the improvements more than me! More often than not people are pointing out that I have heard something they have said without me seeing their face. Bonus!! The fact I am not noticing the improvements just goes to show how normal life as a Cyborg is becoming.
My hardest place with my CI is work. Gym equipment, music and chatter all at once is very hard and even in this environment I am being told how well I am hearing people. Environmental noises have been normal for a while now but the battle is still speech. Naturally this is the area I want to improve most on and slowly but surely I seem to be winning the battle.
I went on holiday to cornwall a few weeks ago and was really pleased to hear how well I coped on the beach with the ocean, chitter chatter of people, excited screaming kids and those pesky, thieving seagulls!! Not only are they pinching ice creams they are now running off with people’s shoes!! I half wondered if they might fly off with my CI if I left it unattended at any point!! 🙂
The ocean was as I remembered! Fantastic!! The holiday itself was rather a learning curve for me on the CI front! Advanced Bionics kindly provide us with a little bag for our accessories such as spare batteries and microphones. I use it for my spare battery and my HA just in case I need a back up if the CI were to fail. Well one day I managed to lose my little bag along with its contents so suddenly I was one battery down and without my HA backup. No big loss really but a pain none the less. I hadn’t bought any spare microphones as I didn’t really think about what would happen if one breaks.
Then disaster!! I was playing in a stream with my daughter Lucy when a wasp buzzed round my head and as I swatted it away I managed to swat my CI off my head and straight into the water!! I swiftly fished it out so it had only been there a matter of seconds but still there was real panic of it failing as well as now not having the back up of my HA. I dried it off and tried it back on and it didn’t work!!! Holiday now turning into a disaster!! Luckily I had remembered to bring the dry box provided by AB and after popping it in there for a few hours it started working again!! RELIEF!! 🙂
The AB CI is warranted against water damage so I wasn’t concerned as such about the CI, I was more concerned about ruining the holiday. I have become so reliant on it that facing even 24 hours without it was not something I wanted to comprehend! I was even thinking a 250 mile trip to Bristol may be on the cards to get an emergency replacement!!
Water reistance well and truly tested!!!
Since coming back from holiday I have been practicing more and more on the phone and I’m pleased to say that I am making some great progress. I can talk to my wife quite easily now and it is so nice just to be able to pick up the phone and chat! All this practice culminated in me making a phone call to my Dad on his Birthday and we were able to chat away for over 10 minutes talking about his trip to the Eden project. During the whole conversation I only had to ask him once to repeat something!! I tell you I was floating on air for the next few days after that!!
The phone calls really got me wanting to make even more progress and during my chats on Facebook with other CI users I came to realise that maybe my settings weren’t helping me as much as I realised. The AB CI has two microphones to use. One is the T-mic that sits nicely in the ear and the other is the internal Aux mic which is on top of the unit and more like an HA mic. I had assumed that I was using 100% T-Mic but when I looked into it further I was actually using a 50% mix of both. This isn’t a real problem but if I wanted to make the most of my sound and use of the phone and music through headphones I was going to want to be using 100% T-mic.
I contacted my CI centre and requested an appointment to have a twiddle with my settings and at the same time see if I could get a replacement battery. I was given an appointment the following week which is very quick. Thankyou Southmead, Bristol!! To cut a long story short I went along and had my CI re-programmed and left feeling like something wasn’t quite right. Only when I got home and tried the phone did I realise that I had now been given 100% AUX!! Not happy!! I got my wife to phone and request another appointment to sort it out and they saw me the same day!! Well I flew down the motorway (70mph all the way I promise) and went in to find out what had happened. It seems that the programme was correct but the upload from PC to my CI was not working properly. When we changed the setting to actually say 100% AUX it then changed my CI to 100% T-mic!! Odd but I don’t care. I’ve got the settings I want and the difference is noticeable straight away!!
Music perception is now much better and my wife sounds much clearer on the phone too. A lot of practice with the new settings to go but I can really feel that more and more progress is yet to come!!
Roll on the next holiday in 2 weeks when I will be testing the CI abroad for the first time!! I’m hoping to queue jump the scanners!! Lets hope they don’t fry my brain!! 🙂