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Communications of the ACM


Digital Hearing

Earlens hearing aid

The Earlens Light-Driven Hearing Aid converts sounds into pulses of light, which activate a lens on the eardrum.

Credit: Earlens

Like many other technologies, hearing aids have improved rapidly over the last two decades.

Digital audio processing has enabled more sophisticated and personalized features, and users report higher satisfaction. Still, in noisy social situations such as cocktail parties, hearing-impaired users must work hard to track the conversation of companions, just as someone with normal hearing may struggle to follow a lively conference call.


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