InfoComm 2013: Assisted Listening and Induction Loops

Assistive_Listening_Devices-0613Required disclaimer: This represents the opinion and experience of me personally and does not represent any specific policy, law or official guidance.

The biggest gathering of technologies showing off their “stuff” is in full swing! Five minutes early, the InfoComm 2013 exhibit floor opened, and my first mission was to check out the manufacturers in audio specifically doing hear assisted and language interpretation. One thing that really is amazing to see is the manufacturers responding to a tremendous amount of pressure from groups associated with folks in the hearing loss community. Unfortunately, that’s the heath care model in the U.S. versus our friends across the pond! Induction loops in the simplest form provide the ability for the community of hearing impaired to utilize their own aid device by the flick of a switch can receive audio straight to through to the aid device. For more information specifically about induction loops check www.hearingloss.org

First stop was the Sennheiser booth (501), where I chatted with Adam Livella (National Sales Manager Integrated Systems) to see what their folks have come up with relating to supporting assisted listen systems and/or language interpretation. Everyone knows in the world of IR and federal agencies Sennheiser has a large presence. It has included a “personal” induction loop that attaches to all its current integrated systems headsets, which for most clients is an around the neck device that’s discrete and functions beautifully. If you need IR or frequency based systems both fully integrated and “in the bag” portable, see the folks at Sennheiser in booth 501. Their website is here.

Next stop was the Williams Sound booth (953), where I talked with Tony Strong (National Sales Manager) regarding the company’s amazing Digi-Wave product. I admit this was the first time I’ve seen the product and the simplistic design approach and functionality blew my socks off! Imagine a fully functional two way communication system that can fit in your pocket, and have a range of 200 feet indoors! The best part of Digi-Wave is the fact that the there is really is no infrastructure or integration needed — it’s truly out of the box assisted listening system! Their website is here.

Then finally, I had to check out Listen Technologies and talk with Cory Schaeffer (Vice President of Worldwide Sales) in booth 1449 and see what they had to offer. They kick the induction loop technology out of the park with their phase arrays, drivers and receivers.  Honestly, Listen really understood the entire scope of assisted listening. If you have concerns or issues in the world of assisted listening and induction loops, Listen has lots of information!! Their website is here.