In his newest blog written exclusively for Starkey, Justin Osmond — who was born with a severe-to-profound hearing loss and has been wearing hearing aids since he was two years old — shares the three features he loves most about his Evolv AI hearing aids.
There are many hearing aid features available for the millions of wearers world-wide to make their lives more convenient and accessible. However, since I got my new Starkey Evolv AI hearing aids, there have been three features (not counting their amazing sound quality) that have quickly become some of my all-time favorites and which have taken my level of expectation to a whole new level.
1. The TRANSCRIBE feature on the THRIVE app
Many times, when I go to a seminar, workshop, conference or convention and try to listen to a presenter or keynote speaker, it’s hard for me to catch everything he/she says. But now… I can open up my Starkey Thrive app and turn on the “Transcribe” feature. This is when I experience the magic.
As I listen to the speaker, I watch my screen on my smart phone as it transcribes what they’re saying into a scripted text on my screen. It’s hard to explain exactly how it works, but it’s amazing to experience and watch. Every now and then, there will be an error and it will miss a word or two, but I don’t expect it to be perfect. The important thing to remember is it connects me to the speaker and helps me understand more on what the topic of conversation is about.
This feature can be used in many other different scenarios, which will help us listen, hear, connect and understand the audio message being presented. On top of that, I can then send the transcription to my email, text or many other communication platforms so I can read, review, or study it again at a later date.
2. The 2-WAY AUDIO feature
I love that my new Evolv AI hearing aids are now compatible with my iPhone, making it possible for me to have hands-free phone conversations, despite my severe-to-profound hearing loss. With the recent release of iOS 15, Apple has added support for bi-directional hearing aids, such as mine, which include exciting new bi-directional streaming technology.
This 2-way audio protocol allows for my hearing aid microphone to be used for voice pick-up whenever I’m on a call with family, friends and at work. This removes a huge roadblock for deaf and hard-of-hearing people like myself.
This is how it works in simple terms: The microphone in my hearing aid picks up my voice and then it connects and streams it right to my iPhone. The standard has always been to hear other people in your hearing aid, but now you don’t have to speak right into your phone for them to hear you. Instead, your hearing aid microphones pick up your voice for you.
Now I can easily have a conversation without having to hold the phone up to my ear or mouth. Instead, I can put my iPhone in my pocket, put it on the table while I eat, or have it next to me while driving. It’s awesome! I still need to answer the phone, but after that, my hearing aids do all the work. It’s that simple, convenient and amazing!
This 2-Way Audio feature has absolutely changed my life and it’s allowing hearing and connecting easier than ever before.
3. The THRIVE ASSISTANT feature
Thrive Assistant is simply an app-based assistant providing hands-free help whenever and wherever needed.
Many of us, including myself, have a voice-controlled virtual assistant, called Alexa. She can answer questions and help us stay informed, educated, connected and entertained. It’s a very convenient resource to have and it’s being utilized by millions world-wide.
Now imagine that same concept, but having your very own personal assistant who speaks directly into both your ears whenever you have a question. Sounds too good to be true, huh? 😊
All I have to do is open the Thrive Assistant icon on my phone, then double-tap my right Evolv AI hearing aid. Shortly after, I’ll a hear a little ring tone, which is the go-ahead for me to ask a question. I then speak in my normal voice tone and ask a question. After a few seconds for my personal Thrive Assistant to digest my question, it then answers my question in both my ears while it streams directly into my Evolv AIs. It’s absolutely incredible and it blows my mind every time I use this feature.
And if that doesn’t blow your mind, I can also say a command to change hearing aid volume, mute the hearing aids, change memories, or set a reminder. Users can even say things like “find my phone” or “I lost my phone” and Thrive Assistant will help the user locate a misplaced smartphone by playing a ringtone from the phone, even if it is locked or on silent mode.
THANK YOU again Starkey Hearing for providing these out-of-this world features and technology so we can Hear Better and Live Better!
You can follow Justin Osmond on Facebook at JAOsmond; on Instagram at justin_osmond; on LinkedIn at https://www.linkedin.com/in/justinosmond/ or at his website www.justinosmond.com
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