Sound is a conspicuous force at the CES Unveiled showcase this year.
From headphones to hearing aids, tech companies are focusing on enhancing the way we absorb sound. And the underlying tone this year is ultimate control.
The Seaboard RISE, a new MIDI controller put out by London tech company ROLI, looks like an ordinary keyboard. But, unlike a traditional piano, the Seaboard’s touch sensitive surface offers the user total multidimensional control over the instrument. By using five different gestures, musicians can alter the pitch, depth, vibrato, and resonance of every note.
“Notes on a traditional piano are either on or off. Born or dying,” says Manon Dave, product manager at Roli. “The Seabord accounts for the human element which enhances the dimension of the sounds and lets you do more with them.”
And while the Seaboard deals primarily with sound output, new Smart Hearing devices from ReSound concentrate on taking it all in.
The LiNX2 by ReSound is the world’s first made for iPhone hearing aid. Once the device is implanted, users can control volume, wind reduction and boost treble and bass all through the accompanying iPhone app.
Whereas industry standard hearing aids only allow for slight volume variations, the ReSound Smart Hearing devices and app gives users the option to personalize their hearing experience and even save favorite location settings. The app can also stream music and phone calls directly to the hearing aid.
But will the intricacies of personalization alienate older users? Spokeswoman Savannah Bailey says absolutely not. Bailey says the user interface is easy to navigate regardless of the user’s technical prowess.
“We’re seeking to eliminate the stigma attached to hearing aids,” says Bailey. By providing this level of control, and “cool factor” Bailey says Smart Hearing seeks to fundamentally change the way people think about hearing loss.