Improving one’s hearing abilities through technology usually requires getting a new device that’s dedicated to that task. But smartphones have essentially the same hardware as hearing assist devices, including a microphone, analog-to-digital converter, and a CPU to process the audio and modulate it to the specific user.
The EarMachine is a new app that harnesses the power of iPhones to do just that. The app was developed with funding from the NIH and the Capita Foundation that sponsors research into hearing. It’s free to download and the user can control how audio is processed depending on individualized needs and the environment where the app is being used. It uses either the microphone built into the phone or the one that hangs off of headsets as its input and the output can be heard through the earphones.