What you need to know
- Google co-developed a new technology called "Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids" (ASHA)
- It's available with the official release of Android 10 for Google Pixel 3 line of phones.
- The streaming spec is open source.
- Allows users to stream music, take calls, and more.
Android 10 keeps bringing new tasty nuggets of features that many didn't see coming, and on September 3, one that was announced was Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA) on Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) Connection-Oriented Channels. While it's not the most eloquent of names, the feature could have a wonderfully positive effect. According to Business Wire, Google, GN Hearing, and Cochlear created this new open-source specification to allow direct streaming to hearing aids.
This Android 10 feature is currently only available on Google Pixel 3, Pixel 3 XL, Pixel 3a, and Pixel 3a XL, and by utilizing BLE, it allows users of the ReSounds LiNX Quattro and Beltone Amaze hearing aids (as well as the Cochlear Nucleus 7 Sound Processor) to connect to their Android device without draining their phone or hearing aid batteries terribly fast. The newly developed protocol can stream music, take calls, listen to a movie, and much more.
Per Jan Janssen, the CTO of Cochlear:
The streaming capability with the latest hearing devices from Cochlear or GN Hearing expands accessibility to more consumer technology. The benefit to our users is that they will no longer have to use an intermediate device to stream audio from a compatible Android device to their cochlear implant sound processor or hearing aid.
Jakob Gudbrand, the CEO and President of GN Hearing, also commented on the news:
We've partnered up with some of the leading technology companies in the world to deliver innovation with the user at heart. Now people with hearing loss can enjoy effortless streaming all day long and easily connect with people.
Since this technology is an open-source project, hopefully, other phone and hearing device manufacturers will take advantage. In the meantime, if you own a Pixel 3 series device and one of the previously mentioned hearing devices, you can take advantage of it after updating your phone to Android 10.
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