Amazon Fire TV devices can now stream audio directly to Cochlear hearing implants

Amazon Fire TV devices can now stream audio directly to Cochlear hearing implants

Amazon Fire TV devices can now stream audio directly to Cochlear hearing implants

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Amazon has partnered with hearing implant company Cochlear to launch audio streaming support for hearing aids (ASHA) on compatible Cochlear devices, the company announced today.


Now select Fire TV devices, such as Fire TV Omni Series, Fire TV Omni QLED Series, Fire TV 4-Series, Fire TV Cube (2nd Gen) and Fire TV Cube (3rd Gen) can stream audio directly to Cochlear Nucleus 8 , Nucleus 7, Nucleus Kanso 2 and Baha 6 Max.

The goal of ASHA support is to give thousands of cochlear implant users a more comfortable way to watch their favorite movies and TV shows, as well as use Alexa, listen to music, navigation sounds , etc., according to Amazon.

Amazon software engineer Michael Forzano (pictured above) believes ASHA’s support for Cochlear devices “takes the strain out” of streaming, he said in an official blog post. ‘Amazon. Forzano was born blind and has been using cochlear implants since losing his hearing at age five. Forzano, along with members of Amazon’s affinity group for people with disabilities, AmazonPWD, helped test the technology.

Before using the new feature, Forzano could not enjoy TV. “If I was trying to watch TV in the living room, I would probably miss, say, 40-50% of the words because of echo, loss of quality, and different voices that you might not know if good,” Forzano said. “I’m really excited for the world that [ASHA support] will open for me.

Peter Korn, Director of Accessibility for Amazon Devices and Amazon’s Accessibility Teams, added that customers who use hearing aids want to hear television while still being able to hear the people around them clearly. So Korn and his team worked with Cochlear to figure out how to “bypass the implant’s microphones, stream Fire TV audio directly into the implants, and prevent audio from being degraded by noise and echoes.” wrote the company in its blog. Korn also claims the technology works on living room distances.

Amazon’s collaboration with Cochlear is an extension of the company’s accessibility efforts. In April 2022, Amazon launched ASHA on Fire TV Cube (2nd Generation) for compatible Bluetooth hearing aids from Starkey, the hearing aid company that manufactures Audibel, NuEar, MicroTech and Audigy brands.

“Television occupies an important place in our lives; we get our news and information through television, entertainment, sports and music,” said Ryan Lopez, director of Nucleus product management and marketing. “If you have a Cochlear Nucleus or Baha implant sound processor of the correct generation and an Amazon Fire TV, you can pair them today and start using [this technology] immediately.”

Cochlear spent several years working on streaming sound from smartphones directly to hearing aids, so smart TVs were the next logical step for the company. Cochlear’s Nucleus sound processors have built-in technology that allows users to stream sound directly from a compatible Apple or Android device.


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