With Mimi, Your Smartphone Becomes a Hearing Aid
Most of us realize that hearing loss can be a big problem as we get older. According to the Mayo Clinic, the National Institutes of Health say about a third of people between the ages of 65 and 75 will experience hearing loss in the U.S. That number jumps to half after age 75.
Many of us don’t realize that the problem starts much earlier. According to Reuters, a recent study revealed that 280,000 of 3.3 million non-musicians experience hearing loss from recreational music, while professional musicians may have nearly four times the risk of hearing loss that their fans do.
If you suspect you have some hearing loss, there’s a quick way to test your hearing without an appointment. Mimi, a new app developed using the multi cloud, has created a hearing test app for your smartphone. Chris Velazco of Engadget says,
“After two minutes, voila — you’ve got your own personal hearing profile which shows you how well your ears respond to different frequencies.”
With the current version available, you can also experience the hearing of a person with hearing loss by listening to a pre-recorded message. Velazco says the experience “is a little bizarre, but it does open your eyes (or ears) to what others live with everyday.” The hope is to raise awareness about hearing loss in preparation for future versions of the app.
Mimi aspires to release a new version of the app soon. The new version will use your personal hearing profile (created when you take the hearing test) to enhance the audio coming through your device. The idea is to enhance your hearing by improving the quality of the sound your device produces — just the way you need it.
Velazco had the opportunity to sample a beta version of the new app at the TechCrunch Disrupt in New York. He said,
“At this stage it’s not terribly polished, but I did notice that the preset meant for construction workers did make a brief conversation a little easier to hear.”
The app is slated to undergo ongoing improvement, which will likely include adding new features and improving the quality of the audio output. For now, it’s just a hearing test you can take right on your smartphone — but soon enough your smartphone could be your own personal hearing aid.