New Google Chrome extension is part of a campaign by Cochlear.
No two people see or hear the world in exactly the same way, according to the developers of a new software called Hearprint. Issued in part as a campaign by Cochlear, makers of the well-known implant, this software calibrates online video and audio content based on the user’s own hearing needs.
Hearprint works as a Google Chrome extension and calibrates based on the user’s input, then maintains those levels across different sites and content. The goal of the campaign is to help Australians understand how hearing manifests in different people, and also to understand how advancements in assistive hearing technology can benefit people.
Lack of zones
Originally, the mainstay hearing aid was a benefit to people with different degrees of hearing loss, but that design was flawed by limited technology. Hearing aids simply amplify all sound to the same level, meaning the person whispering at your table in the restaurant sounds the same as the metal pan that was just dropped in the kitchen. This lack of “zones” in hearing results in a sort of two-dimensional sound space, and is one of the chief complaints that prompts users to stop wearing them.
Cochlear implants, on the other hand, are calibrated to the user’s needs and provide more diversity in volume, so there’s more depth of sound but also less distraction. An ambulance siren coming up the street doesn’t sound like it’s in the living room with you, which is more akin to conventional hearing.
A better solution
Hearprint is far more than a commercial for this technology, though. As reported by Campaign Brief, Brian Jefferson, group creative director, CHE Proximity, says: “We don’t want to just make ads for Cochlear, we want to create experiences that help people reconsider their hearing and how Cochlear could help. Every day, thousands of Australians aren’t hearing as they should so for those people, the Hearprint turns every video on the internet into a chance to realise there’s a better solution.”