Creating a communications friendly home helps with hearing impairment, liveability and so much more.
Hearing impairment is not just the province of the elderly. Environmental issues (loud workplaces), accidents, or even good old genetics (you can choose your parents) are all to blame.
Recently Connect Hearing asked GadgetGuy for advice on tech to help with a communications friendly home. We will leave hearing analysis and hearing aids to them.
Our advice on creating a communications friendly home (Connect’s excellent overview article is here) included:
A communications friendly home is much more than voice.
It makes sense to use as many of our senses as possible. For example, sight, haptic feedback and even colour and movement.
For example, sight can be of benefit with large, friendly lettering on alarm clocks, phone handsets and accessibility-enabled tablets. Visual impact can improve by flashing lights indicating incoming phone calls.
You can also have a 100+dB ring on a doorbell or alarm as an auditory aid for security cameras. Or use smaller speakers to reinforce music or the TV when required.
Vtech has a range of Careline landline phones and accessories that are great for hearing impaired with big buttons, visual ringers, photo dialling, amplified sound, loud ringers, handsfree, and very loud doorbells
Another great option is from Laser. It has a large lettering alarm clock with Qi phone charging and Bluetooth hands-free speakerphone. The 30mm high, soft white, Auto-dimming LCD letters, and two large user-friendly rotating dials make this one of the best visual and audible aids.
Then, there’s Orcam. It is an amazing text-to-speech converter that clips to your glasses. It reads text messages, newspapers, food packets, street signs, dollar bill values, colours and more.
Having a fast Wi-Fi home network enables a communications friendly home of smart connected devices.
These can talk to each other and makes using smart home technologies easier. Smart hearing aids are also available, and they can work with your TV, music or smartphone for a more enjoyable experience.
But you can also talk to smart devices. OK, Google leads the pack with its amazing search capabilities and connections to thousands of other smart devices. “OK Google, play Smooth FM!” (or whatever).
There are also some great assistive listening headphones and portable transmitters.
Sennheiser has a fabulous range of assistive listening headphones and portable transmitters that can produce clear voice from a TV or stereo.