Tag Archives: Connectivity

Beyond Hearing: Making Connections

While 98 percent of wearers note an increased quality of life with their Ponto™ device alone1, there are many different accessories that can make your Ponto experience even better! In this article, we’ll discuss some amazing devices that can connect directly with your Ponto processor as well as some other assistive listening technologies to further improve your life.

Ponto 5 Family Accessories

Made for iPhone

The Ponto 5 Family is Made for iPhone®. This means that these processors can connect directly with iPhone devices to stream music, videos, phone calls and more. Once your Ponto is paired to your phone, there’s no need to do anything else—any sound from your phone will automatically stream to your Ponto device.

Here are a few more features you should know about:

  • The Triple Click: Depending on the model of iPhone, a triple-click on either the Home button, or the right-side power button (if your phone doesn’t have a Home button) can be used to access volume control, program changes, and live listen.
  • Live Listen: This is a feature accessible through the settings on your phone, or it can be accessed through a quick triple-click of the Home button or side power button (depending on iPhone model). It serves as a remote microphone; in other words, sound enters your phone, no matter where it is, and that sound is streamed to your processor. This can be useful in noisy environments. Simply pass the phone to the individual you’d like to speak to and have them speak into the microphone on your phone. Their voice will stream directly to your Ponto bypassing any noise in the environment.

Companion App

Get the most out of the Ponto 4 and Ponto 5 family with the easy-to-use Oticon Companion app. Compatible with your smartphone, tablet, or Apple Watch®, you can enjoy more control, support, and independence anywhere. While these processors are Made for iPhone, even Android™ users can access this app and pair their devices to access the following features:

  • Just slide or tap your screen to easily adjust your volume, change programs, connect to accessories, and more—conveniently and discreetly.
  • You get simple in-app tips, news, and notifications for support when you need it. Even find your Ponto devices with “Find my hearing aids,” if you misplace them.
  • You can use SpeechBooster to reduce background noise in complex listening environments, which helps you focus during conversations.
  • Access RemoteCare to get personal care at your convenience, including remote counseling appointments and adjustments from your hearing care professional. Speak to your hearing care provider to see if they offer remote care services.

Other Ponto Accessories

The accessories below are available through Oticon Medical and can be paired directly with your Ponto device. These accessories are compatible with Ponto 4 and 5 family processors:

  • ConnectClip: This small microphone is designed to send sound directly to your Ponto processor. It works to overcome distance and noise in places like restaurants, lecture halls, or even when hiking. This device can also be used to connect your Ponto with Android phones to allow for streaming phone calls, music, and more.
  • EduMic: Works as a remote microphone, but also does much more! With the EduMic, children gain access to FM systems in schools. The device also allows for telecoil use in places like theaters and museums. With the EduMic’s AC Jack mode, you can connect to just about any audio device and stream sound to your Ponto processor.
  • TV Adapter 3.0: Designed to connect your Ponto to your TV to help you hear without disturbing those around you. The sound from the TV will be sent directly into your processor and you can adjust the volume however you’d like. The TV will still work normally for your family to enjoy alongside you.
  • Remote Control: Want to keep things simple? The remote control allows you to change volume and program settings on your Ponto with just the touch of a button. No need to connect to your phone or the Companion app.

You can learn more about all our connectivity options, the Companion app, and how to pair your processor with your phone by downloading the “Getting Started with Ponto” trial guide here.

 Other Assistive Technologies

Beyond wirelessly connected devices like the options outlined above, there are a diverse array of technologies that are specifically designed to cater to the needs of individuals who are hard of hearing or Deaf. These include things like captioned phones that provide real-time visual transcriptions of spoken conversations. Some of these phones also have expanded volume ranges for hard of hearing individuals.

Vibrating alarm clocks allow users to wake up through vibrations rather than traditional auditory alarms. Similarly, vibrating or lighted baby monitors alert parents to a baby’s cries.

Expanding further into the realm of safety, specialized fire alarms go beyond conventional auditory alerts by incorporating bright, attention-grabbing lights. These visual cues serve as a crucial lifeline for individuals who may not be able to rely on auditory signals during emergencies, reinforcing the importance of inclusivity in safety technology.

Doorbell systems have also been developed using similar technologies to provide lighted cues rather than sound when the doorbell is rung.

Moreover, assistive technology has extended its reach into the entertainment domain, with closed captioning becoming a standard feature on many digital platforms. Smart TVs and streaming services now offer customizable subtitles, allowing individuals to enjoy a wide range of content without missing out on crucial dialogue or narrative elements.

In the workplace, hearing device-compatible phones, loop systems, and speech-to-text applications have become integral tools for fostering effective communication. These devices contribute to creating inclusive environments, where individuals with hearing challenges can participate fully in professional settings.

The continuous evolution of these assistive technologies reflects a commitment to breaking down barriers and creating a more accessible world for everyone.

Making the Connection

Ponto processors, along with a vast variety of connectivity options, allow users to connect to their environment and the people around them. Speak to your hearing care provider to find out if Ponto or any of the aforementioned assistive technologies are right for you!

 

  1. Lagerkvist H, Carvalho K, Holmberg M, Petersson U, Cremers C, Hultcrantz M. Ten years of experience with the Ponto bone-anchored hearing system—A systematic literature review. Clin Otolaryngol. 2020; 45: 667–680. https://doi.org/10.1111/coa.13556

 

Enjoying Music with Ponto

“Where words fail, music speaks.” —  Hans Christian Anderson

 Think of a favorite memory that involves music.

Perhaps it was when you attended an outdoor concert on a beautiful summer day with family and friends. Or that moment when you blasted your favorite song on the car radio with the windows down. What is it about hearing a certain song that can transport you back to a happy day in your life? Undoubtedly, music touches our hearts and minds in a way that few things can.

If you are someone with a hearing loss, music may sound different to you than it used to. Certain notes might sound flat. The lyrics of a song might be more difficult to identify. You might long to hear certain instruments in the orchestra again. Losing a connection to music is another hidden challenge presented by hearing loss presents.

In today’s world, hearing device users are fortunate to have access to technology that can make listening to music more enjoyable. If you use a Ponto™ device, let’s look at a few ways that your hearing care professional can optimize your processor to help make music sound better to you.

Ask your audiologist to make you a music program

Music is very different than speech. Music contains volume and pitch changes that don’t occur in conversational speech. A challenge for bone anchored hearing aid users is that, while their devices are designed to emphasize speech, those same pitch and volume enhancements needed to understand speech can interfere with music enjoyment.

A music program is designed to allow the hearing device to accept a wider range of frequencies and lessen noise reduction. In the Ponto 5 Mini, your clinician has access to a preset music program with settings that are guided by the latest research into listening to music through hearing devices. You can access your music program using the Oticon ON™ app paired to your smartphone by selecting it when listening to music. If you are a Ponto 3 SuperPower patient, your audiologist can create a music program that can be accessed with your Oticon Medical Streamer. If you haven’t tested a music program yet, ask your audiologist to create one for you at your next visit and listen to the difference.

Use your wireless accessories to stream music directly to your Ponto family device

Ponto hearing device users are fortunate to have access to a wealth of accessories that can help them enjoy music. Let’s talk about how you might use these wireless accessories. 

The ConnectClip

The ConnectClip™ is a multi-function accessory that is compatible with our Ponto 4 and Ponto 5 Mini devices. The ConnectClip is easily paired to your Ponto and a smartphone. You can use it to stream music from your favorite Spotify™ or Apple® Music playlist directly to your device. The music volume can be adjusted right on the ConnectClip for a hands-free listening experience.

The EduMic

The EduMic™ is widely known as a wireless accessory with educational benefits for pediatric patients. It is a one-to-many device that is capable of so much, including accepting a streaming signal from an FM transmitter in educational settings. But did you know that you can also use EduMic in “jack mode” to listen to music? If you want to enjoy music from a laptop or a wireless speaker that has a jack cable plug-in, you can plug in your EduMic and stream the audio directly to a Ponto 4 or Ponto 5 Mini. The EduMic is shipped with the 3.5 mm jack cable required, so no need to shop for anything extra. As an added bonus, the EduMic is currently offered as one of the free accessory options for patients placing a new Ponto 5 Mini order.

The Oticon Medical Streamer

For our Ponto 3 SuperPower patients, you can use your connected Oticon Medical Streamer to link to a music system, either wirelessly using Bluetooth®, or a 3.5 mm jack cable if you prefer to plug in. Worn around the patient’s neck, the Oticon Medical Streamer also offers patients an entirely hands-free music listening experience in either mode.

Take note of assistive devices available to hearing device users

Many theaters and concert halls have a telecoil loop system that allows audio to be transmitted to a hearing device using the telecoil.  A loop system uses electromagnetic energy to transmit the audio from the venue to its patrons with hearing loss. Our Ponto 3 SuperPower patients can access their telecoil with the use of the Oticon Medical Streamer. The telecoil in the streamer picks up the electromagnetic energy that is transmitted from the loop system in the room, allowing the user to access the audio from the stage directly in their device. Simply pressing the “AUX” button on the lower right side of the streamer for two seconds will activate the telecoil feature.  If you are a Ponto 5 Mini patient using the EduMic, you can use its telecoil mode to stream the telecoil signal from a theater or music venue. The next time you are seeing a concert or a play in a live theater, be sure to ask whether it is “looped”.

Enjoy music with your Ponto bone anchored hearing system

Thanks to the advanced technology in Oticon Medical devices and wireless accessories, bone anchored hearing device users have more options than ever when it comes to music enjoyment. Be sure to visit your audiologist to learn more about how you can take advantage of the options available to you.

About the author

Courtney Smith, M.A., CCC/A, is the Clinical Trainer for Oticon Medical. She in in her 19th year of practicing audiology. She has practiced in private practice and university hospital settings in Las Vegas, NV. She completed her training at the University of Iowa in 2003.

IFTTT: How Ponto Users Benefit from If This Then That

When you see the acronym IFTTT, don’t be alarmed or intimidated. It stands for If This Then That. It is a great way to connect your apps and notifications in one spot, which is why Oticon Medical has joined the revolution and incorporated it into our Ponto™ bone anchored hearing systems, starting with the Ponto 4 and now the Ponto 5 Mini. This expanding internet-based cloud service enables you to link together a range of products and solutions that otherwise have nothing to do with each other.

Currently, there are between 400 and 500 products and services that have a channel on IFTTT. It is free to the user while companies pay to be part of the ecosystem. “Applets” are the key to making the connections happen and have been created to provide little pieces of automated instructions that both user and company can create. Not to worry—the app is designed to walk you through connecting your devices to the Oticon ON™ app and allows you to customize your Ponto notifications to your liking.

Why are we talking about IFTTT?

The IFTTT protocol allows notifications to be sent to your Ponto 4 or Ponto 5 Mini processor. However, there are some requirements. The first one we already mentioned—you need to have a Ponto 4 or Ponto 5 Mini processor that directly connects to the Oticon ON app with an internet connection. This of course requires you to have a smartphone with the Oticon ON app, which can be found in the Apple App Store® or Google Play™ Store. When you are connected with an Apple iPhone® 5 or newer model, the notification will be sent directly to your Ponto processor. This is considered the Play text to speech process in the applets. If you would like to connect with your Android™ device, you would need a ConnectClip™ in order for the notifications to be sent to your Ponto processor.

How to get started?

Once you have those connections established to the ON app, you will need to set up an IFTTT account. This can easily be done by downloading the app and following the prompts. You can use an email account or your AppleID® account to start. Again, the best part is that it is free!

What do you do once you have established the account?

An applet can be chosen on the app or created for an If This…Then That connection. This will allow you to receive notification from different internet-enabled devices. For instance, if you have a video doorbell, the process will work as follows:

  • Someone rings the internet-connected doorbell
  • A message to IFTTT is triggered via the internet
  • IFTTT sends a message to your Oticon ON app on the smartphone
  • The ON App triggers the voice message picked by the Ponto 4 or 5 Mini (in this case, “someone is at the front door”)

To set this up, you would begin by creating the “If This,” which would be your video doorbell. You may choose a trigger, such as motion or a new ring of the doorbell detected. Once selected, you would then select a “Then That,” which in this case would probably be the Oticon ON app’s Play text to speech (note: works with the direct streaming to iPhone, but Android users can also take advantage of this feature when using the ConnectClip.). Once finished, the notification would go directly to your Ponto 4 or 5 Mini processor.

Another great way to utilize this technology would be when the Oticon ON app detects your battery is low. This is especially helpful for parents of young wearers, because the app could have a preset instruction to ping the IFTTT network when your child has a low battery. The IFTTT network could then look at the created instruction or applet and automatically send you, a teacher, or a babysitter a text message wherever you or they might be.

What can IFTTT connect?

There are hundreds of app and smart devices for which you can create IFTTT applets—the possibilities are endless. For instance, having an internet-connected sound processor means being able to turn on a kitchen appliance when turning on your device (coffee, anyone?) in the morning or your house lights based on GPS information.

How will my information be used?

This process runs through your Oticon ON app; therefore, all the data is yours. IFTTT does not store or use your information. You will be asked to log into your internet-enabled device when creating the applets in IFTTT. However, there is no storage of data, because it is simply a messaging device connecting the system together.

For more privacy information, please refer to the Oticon ON app privacy policy (Oticon.com), Privacy policy – IFTTT, and Oticon Medical privacy-policy.

Now you are ready to connect your Ponto 4 or 5 Mini to any internet-enabled device with IFTTT and the Oticon ON app!

About the author

Nicole Maxam, AuD, CCC-A serves as an Auditory Technical Specialist at Oticon Medical. She has been an audiologist for over 16 years with experience in implantable technologies.