Apple and hearing assistance company Cochlear have teamed up to launch the first iPhone-compatible cochlear implant sound processor. The processor will accompany an implant. (The processor isn’t what’s implanted inside the body; it’s what you see outside and what gathers audio to then send to the implant.)
Lots of Apple-compatible hearing products already exist. Apple lists them all on its “Made for iPhone hearing aids” page. These devices directly pair with an iOS device (running iOS 7 or later) over Bluetooth to receive audio, and users can control their hearing aids from their phone’s accessibility settings. Most have compatible apps, like Cochlear, but they aren’t necessary for using the device. Cochlear’s app features a “Find My Processor” function that lets users hunt down the processor’s location through Apple’s Location Services feature, which will probably be especially useful for kids.
Cochlear plans to launch the processor in September for people in the US and Canada. It’ll be available as an upgrade for qualifying cochlear implant owners in October.