Global Innovation


New App Turns Smartphone into Hearing Aid

By: Caroline Mullin, Intern, AARP International Affairs

Publish Date: May  10,  2013



Product name: Bio Aid

Use: iPhone to double as hearing aid

Company: University of Essex & Apple Itunes

Country/Region: UK

Availability: Available as a beta version on Apple Itunes Store



With everyone so “plugged in” to technology these days, researchers at the University of Essex of the UK have created an IPhone App that would allow users to turn their smartphone into a hearing aid. This app is currently available as a beta version and can be downloaded for free through the Apple Itunes Store. The app is currently in a trial period and the creators are hoping to make some fine tuning changes based on feedback from those who choose to download and test out their product.  The app is fairly simple to navigate and offers different options for users to choose from, distinguishing it from a traditional hearing aid. The app introduce you to the product with a detailed yet easy to read setup procedure that helps users to identify their specific type of hearing loss and pick which setting, out of the available six, is best for them.  Additionally, each setting has four additional options for fine tune sub-settings, so there are a total of 24 options for settings within this app. This is a huge change from traditional hearing aids which can cost thousands of dollars and yet have only one setting which is predetermined by someone other than the user. Bio Aid’s philosophy states that “the user knows best” and so they put the power in the user’s hands to determine what frequency setting works right for them.  


This BioAid beta app is free and easily accessible with just the touch of the screen of your iPhone. Additionally, this app can even be used with an iTouch or iPad, making it more accessible to all Apple customers. What is so great about this Bio Aid app is that it not only increases low audio levels for users, but it also decreases already loud audio levels. This is something that the human ear is actually capable of itself and so Bio Aid is trying to mimic that biological action. In a world that is constantly embracing new technology, especially technology that is easily accessible and ready to use, Bio Aid is on its way to a promising and successful future. The future of BioAid could bring bigger and better things incorporating the app into more technologies to help the hearing impaired.