For the first time, people with hearing loss can stream sound from their Amazon smart TVs directly to their Cochlear hearing implants via the open-source Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA) protocol.
The work builds on Amazon’s collaboration with the hearing aid company, Starkey, and represents another step in an effort to help make entertainment more accessible to people who are deaf or hard of hearing.
The new solution from Amazon and Cochlear allows Cochlear implant users to more comfortably enjoy movies and TV episodes available from Netflix, Prime Video, and other streaming services, as well as local TV networks.
Amazon software engineer Michael Forzano has spent the last decade building technology features that help make experiences like shopping more accessible for customers with disabilities.
Peter Korn, Director of Accessibility for Devices at Amazon, said, "We're delighted by our customers' response to the innovations we've made in the entertainment space for people with hearing loss, even as we continue to build solutions that make entertainment more enjoyable for all customers. Now, by working with Cochlear, we're thrilled that more people will have a simple way to enjoy their favorite TV shows, movies, and more. Entertainment should be accessible to everyone. This is one more way to help make that goal a reality."
Cochlear has configured direct streaming from Fire TV to Cochlear Nucleus® 8, Nucleus 7, Nucleus Kanso® 2, and Baha® 6 Max Sound Processors. With ASHA, sound processors connect with the Fire TV device at the system level, so customers can enjoy audio from their favorite streaming apps, use Alexa, listen to music, navigational sounds, and more.
To pair a hearing implant sound processor and Fire TV device, customers can visit Fire TV Settings, navigate to Accessibility, select Hearing Aids, and follow the on-screen instructions to connect them. For more information, go to the Accessibility Features for Fire TV page.
According to aboutamazon.com; prnewswire.com.