Assistive tech partnership to deliver single solution to people who have hearing and vision loss
Hearing specialist Starkey and AI-driven vision specialist OrCam Technologies are integrating their trademarked assistive technologies to help those with both hearing and vision loss.
The result is a single solution that pairs Livio Edge AI hearing aids to wearable OrCam MyEye devices via a wireless connection, providing both hearing enhancement and audio communication of the visual world to a user at the same time.
“Livio AI transformed hearing aids into multipurpose, connected health devices with integrated sensors and artificial intelligence,” said Starkey Chief Technology Officer Achin Bhowmik, Ph.D. “By using AI, we’re bridging the gap between a patient’s hearing health and their overall health and wellness.
“This partnership with the OrCam MyEye device allows us to achieve even greater success in our quest to help people live happier and healthier lives by enhancing and augmenting human perception and cognition with advanced technology.”
Starkey’s Livio Edge AI hearing aids combine sound quality and sound processing for challenging listening environments. By double tapping, Edge Mode instantaneously conducts an AI-based analysis of the acoustic environment and makes immediate adjustments.
Wireless and lightweight, OrCam MyEye is a wearable assistive technology solution for people who are blind or visually impaired. The finger-sized device delivers increased independence by providing access to visual information – communicated by audio – hands-free, as the device attaches to any pair of eyeglasses.
Harnessing “breakthrough” artificial intelligence, OrCam MyEye discreetly reads printed and digital text out loud – from any surface – in real time. The device also recognises people’s faces, as well as identifies products, colours, money, and more. This can be done offline, without the need for a smartphone or Wi-Fi, resulting in real-time audio communication while ensuring data privacy.
When paired with a Livio Edge AI hearing aid, the audio from OrCam MyEye is streamed wirelessly to the hearing aid.
“People who have both vision and hearing loss are often unable to find solutions that effectively address both of these limitations,” said OrCam Technologies Co-founder and Co-CEO Professor Amnon Shashua. “OrCam’s cooperation with Starkey represents an advantageous opportunity, demonstrating OrCam’s ability to apply the advanced computer vision and machine learning methods we have developed to transmit the visual world through audio, in collaboration with Starkey’s Livio Edge AI hearing aids, to deliver a true and total solution.
“This holistic technological approach provides the ability for those with both vision and hearing loss to access the world more independently.”
Earlier this year, OrCam Technologies, launched an interactive Smart Reading feature that integrates with its assistive technology platforms to personalise the assisted reading experience for people with vision impairments.
Smart Reading, which combines OrCam’s advanced computer vision and natural language understanding (NLU) technologies, operates as a “voice-activated assistant” to make any text – whether in print or digital formats – more accessible to the reader when using OrCam’s original text-to-speech reading engine.