Experts in the field of hearing health have long studied the intricacies of the human ear in order to improve the functionality of hearing aids. As a result, digital technologies have adapted to how our auditory system functions in order to more effectively treat cases of hearing loss. However, inspiration also derives from the natural environment. Recently, scientists have begun to look at insects. By gaining a better understanding of their biomechanics, we may be able to improve our current hearing aid technology.
In an effort to improve current hearing aid technology, researchers have started looking at different insects with efficient sound delivery and processing methods. One of the notable insects they are studying is the cricket. Crickets are able to transmit loud chirping sounds by rubbing their stiff, jagged wings together. Scientists are attempting to replicate these bio acoustics in order to create a more powerful hearing aid speaker. Laser vibration and computer simulations are being used to test this concept.
Experts are also interested in the way insects are able to process sound. Hearing aids use a digital signal processor (DSP) to convert sounds into digital information. The sounds are then amplified or filtered to create the desired hearing environment. The locust is known to have an advanced ability to amplify incoming sounds, and scientists are interested in using these mechanics in the microphone of the hearing devices.
Additionally, the locust has a membrane that is capable of filtering out specific frequencies. If scientists are able to replicate an automatic frequency separation in the hearing aid microphone, this could make devices more efficient, smaller in size and help preserve battery life.
When it comes to treating hearing loss, there is still a lot to be learned. As the medical community delves deeper into the world of creepy-crawlies, the hearing health industry may reap the benefits. In the meantime, it is important to remain proactive about your hearing health. If you suspect you or a loved one may have some degree of hearing loss, we can help. At Timpanogos Hearing & Balance, our team of trusted audiologists perform hearing diagnostics, provide personalized treatment options and dispense the best hearing aids in American Fork. To learn more about our services, contact our team today!