THE NEW YORKER AND NEW TECHNOLOGY

“In recent years, scientists searching for ways to restore hearing have made a number of promising discoveries,” writes David Brooks in the New Yorker. “The natural human tendency, though, is to do nothing and hope for the best, usually while pretending that nothing is wrong.”

The article, focusing on hearing technology and it’s increasingly tangible benefits, is personal, funny, and hits on a number of important points:

1. New technology is not only helping to manage hearing loss, but also helping prevention techniques (such as more advanced hearing protection).

2. Medical and genetic breakthroughs are just as important as technical milestones.

3. “If I could relive my adolescence, I wouldn’t listen to Steppenwolf with loudspeakers leaning against my head, and I wouldn’t have cherry bomb fights with my friends unless I was wearing ear protection.”

Brooke goes on to describe several new products, such as the Hearphones from Bose, the Starkey Halo, and the Starkey Soundlens. These devices not only include clever ways to hide (or make fashionable) the hearing aid, but they are also able to integrate into one’s daily, technological lifestyle. The Halo, for instance, is able to stream audio from certain devices right to the hearing aid.

Through the article, David Owens focuses on a point we all know to be sure: rapid inventions in hearing health technology are capable of transforming one’s lifestyle in pretty meaningful ways.