Bluetooth SIG Looking to Create Profile for Hearing Aids
The Bluetooth Special Interest Group today said it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA) that will eventually lead to a new profile to connect mobile devices to hearing aids. The groups will use low-power Bluetooth to create a link between devices such as smartphones, tablets, PCs, and TVs with hearing aids. The groups believe using Bluetooth Smart technology can benefit the population of hearing aid users, and allow them to take further advantage of today's mobile technology offerings. The groups will start with a hearing aid profile that allows streaming of audio sources at mono speech or stereo music quality to hearing aids, with other profiles and uses to follow. Working groups are forming now, and the Bluetooth SIG and EHIMA encourage industry players to participate.
Sprint Marketing the Alcatel Retro to Seniors
Sprint today announced the availability of the Alcatel OneTouch Retro, a simple flip phone with accessibility features on board. The device, which is also sold as the Speakeasy and Fling, is being marketed to senior users as well as those who are hard of hearing or visually impaired.
FCC Wants All Cell Phones Hearing Aid Compatible
The FCC today expanded the scale of hearing aid compatibility in cell phones to include IP-based communications, such as WiFi and VoLTE. AT&T and Verizon Wireless recently sought and received waivers to offer WiFi calling along with an alternate to the legacy technology called RTT (real-time text).
ZTE's Axon Phone Swings By the FCC for Approval
Documents spotted on the FCC site reveal more information about ZTE's forthcoming Axon phone. The company has been teasing the device on the web for several weeks and plans to reveal it in full at a July 14 event in New York City.
Apple Complains About FCC's Hearing Aid Push
Apple has filed comments with the FCC requesting the agency refrain from adopting new hearing aid rules. In November, the agency issued a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking that would require all phones to be accessible to people who use hearing aids or have cochlear implants.