In addition to the newly announced spatial audio and personalized amplification for AirPods in the latest Apple iOS 14 update, other beneficial features for people who are Deaf and hard of hearing have also been added.
These new features include a “Sound Recognition” safety function and a sign language detection feature for FaceTime group chat.
When enabled, the new Sound Recognition feature allows your iPhone to continuously listen for certain sounds and alert you when those sounds are recognized. Among the 14 sounds said to be recognized by the new update, include smoke detectors, dog barking, doorbell, baby crying, water running, etc.
While Apple is not the first to deploy such a feature, it has been welcomed by accessibility advocates.
“As a person with hearing loss, I am thrilled to see Apple focusing its attention on our community. Innovation is key to expanding our ability to communicate well and live fully despite the challenges of hearing loss.”
–Shari Eberts, founder of Livingwithhearingloss.com
Increased Focus on Health & Accessibility
“With Apple’s release of iOS 14 and their increasing commitment to healthables, we will see more and more of the healthcare market being forced to change and adopt new technologies to keep up with the growing innovation driven by this industry leader,” commented Mark Truong, Host of The Hear Me Out Audiology Podcast.
“I believe Apple will revolutionise and ignite a fire for hearing tech development with their Headphone Accommodations feature and we will see an acceleration and refinement of technology at a rate similar to the changes they made in the PC, Phone and most recently, Bluetooth Headset market. Will we capitilise on the huge opportunity Apple has laid before us, or will we die at their hand! This is the question the hearing healthcare industry has to ask themselves right now in order to keep relevant.”