This year give your loved ones the gift of accessibility! We’ve put together a list of six tech gadgets that will help someone with hearing loss gain fuller access to their world.
What are hearables? They’re any wireless earbud that enhances your sound experience. For the music lover in your life, consider the most basic form of hearable: a set of wireless earbuds that can make calls and stream music. For the athlete, look for a hearable that includes waterproofing and biometrics (for example, a heart-rate monitor or race-pace calculator).
A phone clip allows your loved one to stream audio from Bluetooth sources straight to their hearing aids. They simply clip it to their clothes and stream calls, music, TV and movie audio, and more from a Bluetooth-enabled smartphone.
Does your family enjoy watching TV together? Give them total control of their volume needs with a TV streamer, which sends the sound from a wireless-enabled TV directly into their hearing aids. The group can choose a volume comfortable for them while your loved one controls the volume of the sound streaming into their hearing aids.
Wi-Fi Digital Doorbell
Worried your loved one might miss the doorbell? The basic features of digital doorbells are perfect for those with hearing loss. When the bell rings, they receive an alert right on their phone. There’s even a video feature to facilitate lipreading or signing with the person at the door — they can answer the door without having to stop what they’re doing!
This one is more of a gift of time and energy. If your loved one has a phone and another smart device — for example, a tablet or laptop — the Baby Monitor 3G app is an excellent, low-cost ($3 to $5) app that allows you to easily set up a baby monitor. The extra smart device serves as a camera to monitor baby, and the phone acts as the parent unit. When the alert goes off, the phone vibrates. The great part? The phone goes under their pillow at night, so they’re sure to feel the vibration of an alert!
Under-the-Pillow Smartphone Alarm Clock Shaker
No more missing the alarm with the SmartShaker, a vibrating alarm pad. Your loved one wirelessly syncs it to the smartphone app, sets the alarm, and puts it under their pillow. In the morning, they’re woken by their pillow’s gentle shaking.