by Neil Bauman, Ph.D.
If the chief executive at Phonak, Valentin Chapero, has his way, hearing aids as such will soon be a thing of the past. “Phonak’s new Audeo device comes in 15 fashionable colors, looks more like a sleek ear phone than an old-fashioned hearing aid and is being marketed as a ‘personal communication assistant'”.
According to Chapero, “We’ll only get close to baby boomers if we take away the stigma and show them a product that is high-tech and hip and easily improves the quality of their lives.”
Just be aware that in spite of the hype, and no matter what you call them, these devices are still aids to hearing—what we’ve always called “hearing aids”.
If the big hearing aid manufacturers have their way, it appears we’ll soon all have a PDA (personal digital assistant) in our pockets, PCAs (personal communication assistants) in our ears, and a big hole in our wallets! Let’s hope the improvement in our hearing is worth it!