Australian company Cochlear has created its first “made for iPhone” cochlear implant that will be controlled completely by an iPhone. Cochelear’s new Nucleus 7’s sound processor streams sound directly from an iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch without the need for an app. The Nucleus 7 can be paired with an iPhone just like any other Bluetooth headphones or device by going into General->Accessibility, and scrolling down to a list of “hearing devices”. The Nucleus 7 uses Bluetooth and a proprietary protocol that Apple created for hearing aids.
Whenever a call comes in on the phone, or the person wants to watch videos, listen to music or any other form of sound on the phone, it can be heard directly within the implant, and the volume for the implant can also be set in the Settings area. The Nucleus 7 connecting directly to the iPhone eliminates the need for users to wear headphones on top of their hearing aids.
The device received FDA approval in June, and is expected to launch in the US & to Canada in September. The cost of Nucleus 7 has not been announced yet.