Bits around hearing and acoustics

I have been rather silent these days. I don’t do much actively in the field of hearing and acoustics. But I do follow the media and once in a while I stumble upon interesting articles that I like to share with you.

Take-away from 32c3

I attended the 32c3 last year and watched the talk “Unpatchable“, a talk which is related to hacking medical devices. In this case it wasn’t hearing aids, but pacemakers. Interestingly, the speakers raised similar questions as I did in my talk at 28c3.

The questions being for example:

  • This device is part of my body, why do I not know what code is in it?
  • How can I trust that the device is not vulnerable from the outside?
  • Does a doctor have to tell me when he flashes the firmware or that the device is tracking my very personal data?

Agreeable, the consequences for patients wearing pace makers are more impactful than for patients wearing hearing aids or cochlear implants. However, I still found the talk worth watching, I hope you do too.



Hearinghacks Slack Forum

It has been silent around here, but that does not mean other people don’t to awesome things in the hearing aid world. I’d like to point everyone of you to a slack chat/forum to discuss hearing aids technology and hacks around it.

So far it has been rather calm, which is why we are looking for more people! My friend Gianluca is managing it. You can request an invite here: Hope to see you there! 🙂


This and that

I don’t have many activities in the hearing aid field going on myself, but since I still follow the news in the field and receive pointers here and there, I thought, I’ll write up some of the interesting stuff.

What happened since 28c3?

It has been nearly a year since 28c3, the chaos communication congress where I held my talk “Bionic Ears”. It’s been an interesting time since then with lots of developments that I hadn’t anticipated when I handed in the proposal for the talk. I have been planning to write a “what happened since then” post for a while and now, shortly before 29c3, here it is.

Continue reading What happened since 28c3?

10 things you should never say to a deaf / hearing-impaired person

This article nicely summarizes the frequent douche-bagginess that deaf / hearing-impaired people are facing.

I can confirm that every single point once in a while ruins my days. Interestingly, I find the point “But I find subtitles annoying” very upsetting. It happened to me several times that I was invited to a DVD evening with friends and when I asked for subtitles to be switched on I was facing an hour long discussion about whether or not it is necessary. Seriously, the most disappointing fact is that it is even highly intelligent people fail to get that a hearing loss is not “negotiable”. When I say I need subtitles, then it is a fact and not a matter of convenience.

Apple’s plans to improve support for the hearing impaired

I was recently (and repeatedly ;)) pointed to these news.

My personal opinion is that I am sceptical, if this is really aimed to actually help the hearing impaired or if it is just one piece in the game of patents. Even if this will yield to actual products, it might certainly not make the market any more open (at least with apple’s history, that would surprise me). I hope we do not end up in a scenario where you can only use Apple products with Apple hearing aids.

But maybe I am wrong and Apple will surprise me. We will see. 🙂