I published an article in Voicebot this weekend, highlighting the importance of Android 10 to the world of hearing aids. As I outlined in the piece, prior to Android 10 and the low-energy Bluetooth protocol included in the update, the vast majority of hearing aids were limited to pairing with iPhones. This was due to the fact that Apple introduced its own low power Bluetooth protocol to the market in 2014, which allowed for “made for iPhone hearing aids.” With an open source protocol coming from the Android side of the market, we now have a clear line of sight to a future where any Bluetooth hearing aid can pair to any iPhone or Android phone that uses Android 10. In other words, we’re near the point of universal connectivity between smartphones and hearing aids.
Beyond the universal streaming aspect to this new protocol, we’re also going to see direct Google Assistant access become much more widely available with hearing aids. This is really significant as Google Assistant is already considerably more sophisticated than Siri, which is the primary assistant that hearing aid wearers have had access to up until now. With an even faster and more intelligent version of Google Assistant due out later this year, hearing aid wearers are in for a treat as they begin to be exposed to the benefits and possibilities of having an intelligent assistant residing right in their hearing aids. Check out the post to get a full breakdown of this very important milestone.
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