What Would Alexander Graham Bell Think?

The launch of the iPhone 5 to the market has been met with incredible publicity and fanfare. Everywhere in the media – in print, online or broadcast over the radio or television – people have meticulously reviewed the newest version of Apple’s telephone technology. Words like “app” have been common to popular lexicon since 2008, when the first iPhone 3G was introduced. Modern society is veritably entrenched in telephone technology – and embraces it with absolute ferocity.

The underlying driver for this technology and how current wireless connectivity is serving the hearing impaired was the topic for our recent guest post on “Just Audiology Stuff“.

TStenderWritten by  ReSound’s Tammara Stender, Au.D., the post talks about how far telecommunications and audiology have come since 1922, the year in which a letter was published in the Bell Telephone Quarterly, written by the newly widowed wife of Alexander Graham Bell to a vice-president at AT&T.

Mabel Bell wrote of her husband’s conflicting views about the telephone – he considered it “an intrusion” to his work, and did not have one in his study. In Mabel’s words, she wrote:

Alexander Graham Bell“Mr Bell did like to say in fun, ‘Why did I ever invent the Telephone,’ but no one had a higher appreciation of its indispensableness or used it more freely when need was—either personally or by deputy—and he was really tremendously proud of it and all it was accomplishing.…(His) one regret about the telephone was that his wife could not use it…”

Mabel Bell had significant hearing loss, acquired through an episode of scarlet fever as a young child.

Even within the last decade, phone usage has continued to be a problem for people with hearing loss, due to the absence of visual cues for speech reading and the typical interference of background noise. In the present day, substantial leaps forward in hearing aid and assistive listening technology have made using the telephone easier for people with hearing loss. Seventy-three per cent of consumers surveyed in 2008 reported satisfaction with their hearing aids or amplification solutions for the telephone.

Read the rest of Tammara’s post over at Just Audiology Stuff.  Learn about advances in hearing aid technology specific to mobile phone usage and how wireless connectivity is enabling better speech understanding through binaural listening.

Share this post

Leave a Reply

Related Posts