What would it be like to have a second pair of ears to listen out for danger while you are busy listening to something else? The sound recognition feature is a small yet powerful tool that has been announced with Apple’s iOS14 upgrades at their annual WWDC Keynote on June 23rd.

It works by listening for 14 different sounds in your immediate environment such as; a baby crying, dogs barking, doorbell, smoke alarm, running water, a knock at the door or a car horn to name a few, and then sends a notification to your phone.

Dr. Nancy Duncan, Au.D. at Duncan Hearing Healthcare commented:

“I think this is a great feature for patients to use in conjunction with their hearing aids as there are times they may have their hearing aids off such as when in bed, first thing in the morning, and when showering. They could be made aware of important sounds going on around them when their devices aren’t in their ears.

Also, hearing aids do a great job at assisting people with communication, but any time a person can receive awareness to sound and notification of sound through multiple means such as auditorily and visually, it will give the best possible outcome of making them aware of their surroundings.

Many of today’s hearing aids also work directly with smartphones to stream sounds, so any additional features that help the hearing impaired add value to the hearing aid/smartphone relationship.”

Tech giants such as Amazon and Google have recently introduced AI-based sound recognition for personal safety measures, including setting Alexa Gaurd which detects the sound of alarms and broken glasses, or Google’s Pixel phones to detect a car crash and call emergency services.

For now, Apple is discouraging anyone from depending on the sound recognition feature for staying safe, but it’s a significant first step as a technology that works in conjunction with your hearing aids and home safety systems.

Good job, Apple, on continuing to prioritize inclusivity and accessibility.

We at Duncan Hearing are excited about the ever-improving technologies from our lifestyle brands and look forward to seeing these features in action.

Contact us at Duncan Hearing Healthcare for any questions about a hearing loss, to book an appointment with us, or if you’d prefer to get help from home, you can schedule a Virtual Hearing Care Appointment.

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Nancy Duncan, Au.D.

Nancy Duncan, Au.D.

Dr. Duncan’s Southcoast roots run deep, establishing a special connection to the community where she practices. A homegrown product, she graduated from Somerset High, just across the Taunton from Fall River, and received her B.S. in communication disorders and psychology from Worcester State College. Her master of science in audiology was awarded at the University of Arkansas in 1997, after which she worked for several private audiology practices in Arkansas, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.