Apple announced the iOS14 at its annual WWDC Keynote on June 23rd. An impressive little feature that packs a real punch is its sound recognition capability. This technology could be an incredible boon to iPhone users who have difficulty hearing.

Apple has already been at-the-helm, creating streamlined integration of its technology with hearing aids, which has been incredible, and many brands have followed their lead. Still, now it seems they have one-upped the others again with these “virtual ears,” their sound recognition feature.

This smart function can actively listen to what is happening in your environment and send you a notification when it hears one of 14 pre-programmed sounds. These include breaking glass, running water, shouting, a baby crying, a fire alarm, a knock at the door, and many more!

Julie Hubik Au.D., CCC-A, Doctor of Audiology at Cornerstone Audiology, is extremely positive about this development, saying, “Many of our patients with hearing impairment are missing sensitivity at different frequency regions which makes it difficult for them to hear some environmental sounds. For example, a patient with a severe high-frequency hearing loss may miss a smoke alarm beeping entirely. These notifications are exciting news! Apple is scheduled to release this update sometime in the fall. Stay tuned for an update in our newsletter. When it is launched, we are scheduling patients in our Service Center or Curb-Side to show you how it works!”

Apple is following in the footsteps of technology giants like Amazon and Google have implemented this artificial intelligence themselves in Amazon’s Alexa Guard, which is programmed to listen for sounds of a break-in, and Google’s Pixel which can sense if you are in a car crash and dial 911.

Apple is vehement that at this stage, the sound recognition feature should not be used for the purpose of keeping safe; it works in conjunction with the security systems and measures you already have in place. It is assistive technology.

If you spend a lot of time wearing outside-the-ear headphones for work or other reasons, i.e., listening to music, podcasts, watching a film, or taking a video call, etc. – knowing that your phone is keeping an ear out, is pretty great.

Well Done, Apple! We at Cornerstone are loving how this technology can improve the daily lives of our favorite people… our patients! Stay tuned!

Our offices are open for in-person visits with safety precautions. If you prefer to come inside, please call to schedule. To schedule a Curbside Appointment in advance, please call the team at one of your local offices:

Lubbock: 806-687-4327

Big Spring: 432-606-1933

Snyder: 325-284-3221

We look forward to seeing you soon!

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Julie Hubik, Au.D., CCC-A - Doctor of Audiology & CEO of Cornerstone Audiology

Julie Hubik, Au.D., CCC-A - Doctor of Audiology & CEO of Cornerstone Audiology

Dr. Hubik is the owner and founder of one of West Texas' most trusted and professional hearing providers, Cornerstone Audiology. She received her bachelor of science degree in communication disorders as well as her doctorate of audiology from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC). In her youth, Dr. Hubik became interested in helping people with a hearing loss to communicate more effectively and therefore pursued a degree in this field. Dr. Hubik was born and raised in Anton, Texas, and appreciates working with the people of West Texas. She and her team are proud to serve the hearing needs of their community.