Back in June we reported that Apple was getting ready to introduce new Bluetooth Low Energy hearing aid technology it developed to significantly improve the current crop of products on the market. Apple expected partners in its MFi program to introduce hearing aid and cochlear implant products using the technology this year, and last night we got a look at the first MFi hearing aid about to launch globally this quarter during the Bluetooth SIG event at CES 2014. GN’s Resound Linx is trickling out in select markets as we speak but a full global launch is about to happen sometime this quarter.
Not only is Resound Linx the world’s smallest hearing aid and the first Made for iPhone/iPad/iPod through Apple’s official program, the connection to an iPhone over the 2.4GHz frequency and Apple’s advancements in low powered Bluetooth tech for hearing aid products will also provide some other first of their kind features for the Linx. The hearing aid will essentially also function as a high-quality headset, allowing users to answer calls, listen to turn-by-turn directions, and much more on their iOS device. The most notable advancement, however, is the ability to fine tune the hearing aid experience through a dedicated iOS app:
Imagine using your ReSound Smart™ app to fine-tune the treble/bass of a concert – or a dinner conversation. Or geo-tag places so your hearing aid goes into your preferred program for work… the gym… or your favorite café. With a swipe and a tap you can unlock new reasons to love your ReSound LiNX hearing aids.
Of course the possibilities are endless with the opportunity for app developers to build apps specifically for the product. There’s no official word on pricing or which specific markets it will launch in the coming weeks, but it will sell for a small premium on top of the roughly $3000 price tag for other high-end hearing products the company sells.