Forget hearing aids. We're talking about brain aids, people

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Needing assistance with your most basic of senses is never something anyone wants to advertise. Thus we’ve come up with handy ways of making them socially acceptable. Enough nerdy kids like myself needed glasses that they’ve become fashion accessories in and of themselves. And modern hearing aids usually focus on being tiny and out of sight. But Oticon out of Denmark has something new on the market. The Agil may not be the stealthiest of assistive listening devices, but it holds a new sound processing algorithm designed to reproduce sounds much more realistically.

This handy little things is designed to:

“Minimize the cognitive energy expended in typical listening environments without compromising sound quality and speech understanding.”

So what does that mean you ask?

It essentially does your brain’s work for it. Capturing sound, deciding what’s important (separating speech from other sounds), and keeping track of it in your current environment. This frees up your brain’s functionality much like a streamlined piece of software frees up your CPU.

But wait, there’s more!

Some handy technology dubbed Speech Guard, allows users to “lock on” to a certain speaker in their current environment. By picking out subtle speech cues and patterns, the Agil makes that target easier to hear despite extraneous noise. And if both speakers are using the Agil, the devices will wirelessly sync with each other, both optimizing to the environment.

And it gets even better.

The Agil will link to your phone, MP3 player, or what have you allowing you to stream music to the headphones you never take off. Fascinating, what we can do now days, isn’t it?

via [MedGadget]

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