Skip to Content

Hidden Hearing Aid

Implant it convenient but doesn’t work as well as external hearing aids.
October 15, 2007

An implantable hearing aid aims to overcome the drawbacks of traditional hearing aids–they’re inconvenient, they’re unsightly, and they’re not supposed to get wet. The device, being developed by Otologics of Boulder, CO, uses a microphone implanted underneath the skin to pick up sound.

The signal from the microphone is processed and sent to a vibrating piston implanted against small bones of the middle ear, which transmit the vibrations to the inner ear. The user recharges the device’s battery by placing a small radio transmitter against his or her head. In an early clinical trial, subjects using the device did not hear quite as well as they did with traditional hearing aids. The question is whether patients will see reduced performance–as well as the higher cost and surgical risk–as a tolerable price to pay for convenience and cosmetic benefits.

Keep Reading

Most Popular

A Roomba recorded a woman on the toilet. How did screenshots end up on Facebook?

Robot vacuum companies say your images are safe, but a sprawling global supply chain for data from our devices creates risk.

A startup says it’s begun releasing particles into the atmosphere, in an effort to tweak the climate

Make Sunsets is already attempting to earn revenue for geoengineering, a move likely to provoke widespread criticism.

10 Breakthrough Technologies 2023

Every year, we pick the 10 technologies that matter the most right now. We look for advances that will have a big impact on our lives and break down why they matter.

These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway

Weirdly, any recent work on The Line doesn’t show up on Google Maps. But we got the images anyway.

Stay connected

Illustration by Rose Wong

Get the latest updates from
MIT Technology Review

Discover special offers, top stories, upcoming events, and more.

Thank you for submitting your email!

Explore more newsletters

It looks like something went wrong.

We’re having trouble saving your preferences. Try refreshing this page and updating them one more time. If you continue to get this message, reach out to us at customer-service@technologyreview.com with a list of newsletters you’d like to receive.