The trajectory of the "Danny the Dragon Meets Jimmy" story was fairly standard, as far as modern stories go. First, it was an illustrated book. Then a DVD. Then iStoryTime developed it as an iPhone app.
The Japanese are getting teary-eyed over a smoke alarm for deaf people that emits a strong odor of wasabi, according to a recent Nikkei Net article.
Instead of an ear-piercing wail, the device unleashes the chemical compound allyl isothiocyanate, which gives horseradish, mustard, and wasabi their bite. A red LED on the alarm also starts flashing when smoke is detected.
In tests on sleeping people with normal or no hearing, the device woke nearly all subjects up within two and a half minutes after the stench hit their nostrils. Further tests determined the ideal intensity of airborne wasabi to wake … Read more
UHear is a free, self-administered hearing test, along with tips and resources for preventing hearing loss. The app includes a multiple-choice questionnaire (your "Performance Profile"), a rigorous "Hearing Sensitivity" test for both ears, and a short "Speech in Noise" test.
The app's simple touch interface guides you through each step. For example, in the 6-minute Hearing Sensitivity test, you tap a large button every time you hear a tone, while a progress bar on the bottom tracks your progress. After each test, you get your results along with helpful context and recommendations--and for … Read more
When the T-Mobile Sidekick started having data problems two weeks ago, it was a big pain for nearly all of the company's roughly 800,000 subscribers. But it became particularly rough for the many deaf people who have been among the Sidekick's most loyal fan base.
"It was severely limiting and made me very dependent on others," Carla McCraw, a Web designer from San Antonio, Texas, said in an e-mail interview. "This loss of independence was very stressful on me."
McCraw said she relies on her Sidekick to manage everyday tasks, from keeping up … Read more
Researchers this week revealed the results of some demographics studies of noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL), something they say had yet to be studied to this extent. If you're a married white male driving a convertible, listen up while you still can.
The studies were presented at the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation's 2009 annual meeting in San Diego this week. One study, which analyzed the audiometric testing data from 5,290 people ages 20 to 69, finds that more than 13 percent suffer from some level of NIHL, which means some 24 million Americans might … Read more
Eight out of every 1,000 people have a lot of trouble communicating vocally, be it from a traumatic event such as a stroke or the onset of diseases such as Lou Gehrig's (ALS). As recently as the 1960s, it was a big deal for those who were effectively mute to be able to type out their thoughts one key stroke at a time. (Stephen Hawking first used a DECtalk DTC01 voice synthesizer developed by Digital Equipment in the early 1980s.)
If you spend more than an hour a day in deep intimacy with your iPod, your Zune, or some other MP3 machine, a group of important scientists would like you to turn it down and listen to them.
The EU's Scientific Committee on emerging health risks, which is normally concerned with noise in factories and the British Parliament, performed a study of MP3 usage.
The committee members' findings left them with a strange ringing feeling. They concluded that an hour's iPod usage a day for five years might make as many as 1 in 10 listeners deaf.
Other than lowering prices and (hopefully) improving quality, one positive effect of intense product competition is that it sometimes leads companies to target consumers who might otherwise be left on the fringe.
The "GPS Ranger" is one product trying to distinguish itself in its own crowded market by catering to the deaf and hearing impaired. In addition to its GPS functions, the handheld device uses a tool developed by BarZ Adventures that can offer virtual tours with both captioning and American Sign Language options. The technology was launched this month with a multimedia tour of Austin, Texas, according … Read more