Innovative Solution for the Hearing Impaired
How can integrated technologies help those with hearing impairments? Smart Home Solutions have created an innovative home solution, voted Best Innovative System 2019 by CEDIA.
There’s been a lot of chatter about “wellness” – integrated technology that mimics sunlight or provides background audio filled with the sounds of nature, for example. These stimuli have been proven to improve mood, and perhaps even human health. But what about tech that improves the quality of life for the differently-abled?
The client project
A recent CEDIA-Award-wining project by the firm Smart Home Solutions provides just such a solution: The firm developed a system that integrated devices called hearing loops, which provides a wireless signal to their client’s hearing aids.
“The unique objective here was to place hearing loops throughout the residence that integrated with the AV zones and house music system,” noted the team from Smart Home Solutions in their winning entry. “The client asked that whatever was playing in that room or area, whether it be the TV or distributed audio, was to be broadcast into the hearing loop system. The owner wanted to be able to play a different source in each zone, walk between them and not have any overlap or ‘cross-talk’ between zones.
A seamless home hearing loop
“For this project, we used the Crestron house music amp to receive all of the home’s music sources and back-fed audio from the TVs. We then sent the ‘loop’ audio to a processor – as well as amplified audio to concealed Sonance speakers.” That latter feature allows the client’s guests to have the same audio experience as the homeowner.
“The line level audio received by the Crestron DSP (digital signal processor) was processed and distributed to each Contacta hearing loop zone amplifier at a set volume. The owner can then adjust the volume locally with his hearing aid volume controls.
“We added the ability to isolate and turn off the hearing loop zones from the Dynalite lighting control panels and Crestron remote controls. The reason for this was if the owner was entertaining and had background music on, he could turn this off quickly and easily to better hear his guests.”
CEDIA’s judges noted that this exactly the kind of assisted-living solution that member firms are uniquely suited to provide, and awarded Smart Home Solutions the trophy for Best Innovative System or Solution in the 2019 Awards program.