Friday, July 20, 2012

Pair of Apple patent applications set the stage for hearing aid-based social network

If ever there were a purgatory for ideas, it'd be the USPTO's patent application database. That land of legal limbo plays host to a multitude of tech entries both bizarre and straightforward, much of which will never see the light of day. So, it's with a keen eye for the curious that we've stumbled upon this pair of filings submitted by Apple back in January of 2011 outlining a new social network specifically for hearing aids. Yes, you read that right, but its function isn't actually as obvious as you'd imagine. According to the claims, hearing aids worn by at least two users will work in tandem with a personal computing device to identify user identities, establish a communication link and then swap profiles -- not a list of likes and dislikes, but dynamic audio settings. It appears users will be able to update the sound processing on their respective devices to adjust for ambient noise and hone in on a specific sources. So, basically, it's the Cupertino version of Superhuman hearing. It certainly lends a whole new meaning to, "Can you hear me now?" Eh?

View the original article here

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