June 3 Apple announcements embrace hearing health, but are we closer to an actual Apple hearing aid?
- Published on 16 May 2019
New Apple Inc. tech products to be announced on June 3 will reflect the computer giant's increasing focus on healthcare, in particular hearing features aimed at the so-called Silver Tsunami generation of ageing consumers.
Bloomberg, the finance media organ, has this month aired rumours—guided or otherwise—that Apple will release a revamped Health app with a "hearing health" section covering headphone volume and loudness of the user's surroundings. The Apple smartwatch will be able to display the battery life of hearing aids too.
"Made for iPhone" hearing aids are widely available, and Google has its own Android support for devices.
With hearing being one of the top health issues that technology can embrace, rumours have been around for some four years that Apple might take on the ponderous task of developing its own hearing aid devices. Fuelling such speculation is the reflection that Apple might find the USA's coming over-the-counter freedoms prove an irresistible selling model, one worthy perhaps of its own hearing aid concept.
But rumours are all they add up to. There is no clear evidence yet that this will happen, only a trickle of hearing health features turning into a gently-widening stream of similar ideas. With future selling models perhaps being the key to such a move, all eyes are on the August 2020 deadline for the US Food and Drug Adminstration to publish its over-the-counter guidelines.