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Thread: Bluetooth 5

  1. Default Bluetooth 5

    A glimpse into the near future? I want to try to hang onto my aids for another year now. How long until the promise materialises though? http://www.two-pi.com/?p=549#more-549

  2. #2
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    Interesting article. The site is operate by a consulting/licensing firm trying to advance beyond the current business model.

    This article there is also interesting in that regard.

    This explains their "Selffit" product.
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  3. #3

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    Standards are a good start but the various device manufacturers need to adopt it and include it in their technology. That will take a while especially for devices with a longer replacement cycle than the average smart phone. Will be interesting to see how that unfolds.
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  4. #4

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    Interesting indeed! The article prompted me to research BT5 to find out more about it. In an nutshell:
    "Bluetooth 5, projected for release in late 2016 to early 2017, will quadruple range and double speed of low energy connections while increasing the capacity of connectionless data broadcasts by 800 percent. It achieves all this alongside its industry-leading power performance. With the major boost in broadcast messaging capacity, the data being transferred will be richer, more intelligent. This will redefine the way Bluetooth devices transmit information, moving away from the app-paired-to-device model to a connectionless IoT where there is less need to download an app or connect the app to a device." (Source: www.bluetooth.com website)

    Trying to wrap my head around this, it sounds like it would be a combination of hardware and software. Once the hardware is in place, software upgrades would extend the functionality of Bluetooth significantly beyond what we have today. For instance, I use Bluetooth to pair my aids with a streamer AND my Samsung Galaxy 6S phone. From what I glean, it would be possible in the future to pair my aids directly with my cell phone without wearing any kind of streaming device. WOULD I LOVE THAT! I can't tell you how many times I've had the streamer necklace on and then bent over for some reason and BANG! The device clonks me in the head, the teeth, or something. I guess I'll just have to sit tight and see what BT5 means for ME and my connectable devices.

    I guess one BIG concern I have is the loss of privacy in using this technology. I don't have an iPhone (and try to avoid Apple i-products in general) because I feel that we stand to lose as much as we gain when we share location, apps, usage, you-name-it with Big Bro. The article also hints at HA wearers such as ourselves being able to possibly self-test and self-program our devices. Hm. I've wanted to do that on a number of occasions. But I always return to my aud-guy of 10+ years. He knows my story: my loss profile, my history of devices, what works, what doesn't. This is also a main reason I stay with him vs save a bundle of dough buying aids at CostCo.
    Last edited by 1Bluejay; 08-28-2016 at 07:41 PM.

  5. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Bluejay View Post
    From what I glean, it would be possible in the future to pair my aids directly with my cell phone without wearing any kind of streaming device. WOULD I LOVE THAT!
    Seeing my aids don't do streaming of any sort I would probably love it even more ! If I understood correctly, you wouldn't even necessarily have to pair. There's an enhanced broadcasting function. You could have a whole crowd of people listening to your TV via Bluetooth. Maybe even broadcast streaming in your local cinema? With the increased range it might be viable.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Bluejay View Post
    The article also hints at HA wearers such as ourselves being able to possibly self-test and self-program our devices. Hm. I've wanted to do that on a number of occasions. But I always return to my aud-guy of 10+ years.
    There would probably be no technical reason why you couldn't have both. The issue would be whether the manufacturers who distribute their products through audiologists would threaten their distribution network by allowing self-programming on their devices.
    Last edited by d'Wooluf; 08-28-2016 at 09:57 PM. Reason: spelling

  6. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Psocoptera View Post
    Standards are a good start but the various device manufacturers need to adopt it and include it in their technology
    Yes. That's the interesting question. Customers will definitely want the lower power, increased range and direct-to-device streaming of BT 5. Manufacturers may not want to open up their devices to control and programming via smart devices because it limits the differentiation of their products. It also potentially shifts some of the 'value' that they currently charge for to third party vendors. There's also the effect on their current distribution network to consider. On the other hand they may face competition from the Samsungs and LGs of this world who may start marketing hearing aids (even if they don't call them that) in the same way that they market televisions.

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    Well, they could always use hardware to prevent programming without their dongle. After all this is a "medical device" that should only be programmed by a "licensed professional."

    Not sure what standards are with HAs. Every feature has a different name; hardware and software are proprietary. Be interesting to see iFixit.com tear into one.
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  8. #8

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    d'Wooluf, how is it your aids can not be paired? My oldest pair of aids (Oticon Epoqs) were pair-able back in 2012, I believe. If you could afford Kirkland brand from Costco (as reasonably-priced as it gets!), you could step up to a pair with features to make your life easier. In particular, I *need* my streamer (paired with my aids) to even consider calling Anthem! Any and all family phone calls lasting more than 3 minutes and I put my streamer necklace on, settle in to my easy chair and chat hands-free! I've done complete loads of ironing and fixed dinner while on the phone. Streaming ROCKS.

    Also, some public areas (cinema, town halls, opera house, etc.,) have telecoil enabled, I believe. So if your aids at least have that, you could benefit from in-ear audio.

    Yes, it would be rather a dilemma for HA manufacturers to dispense via audiologist/clinic on the one hand, and also sell direct to consumer geeks on the other! LOL, maybe manufacturers could designate "power users" - long-term HA wearers who are willing to go through an online certification process in order to get passcodes that let us tinker and tweak with our own aids. When I sit next to my aud-guy and see the app open on his desktop, I'm tempted to *hijack* it just to play around with the fine-tuning for a couple hours on my OWN. Problem is, auds have busy schedules and we get 45-60 minutes of their time before the app't is over. Even accoustics in an office can differ vastly from work environment or homes. Sigh.

  9. Default

    Hi 1Bluejay

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Bluejay View Post
    d'Wooluf, how is it your aids can not be paired?
    I've had my current aids for almost five years. If bluetooth was around then, it was probably new and expensive. I was keen to get self-programming aids and bluetooth wasn't an option. I've only now started researching my next set of aids. You don't have to sell me on the benefits of streaming! I've got about 10 pears of headphones around the house that I got to try to enjoy music again. I love my bluetooth headset that I got a few months ago, but I get sick of swapping it back and forth with my aids. I just love the promise of the technology in that article I linked to. Whether to wait or upgrade now is the question I'm grappling with. My current aids are probably a bit long in the tooth in technology terms. They don't even had Telecoil.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1Bluejay View Post
    Yes, it would be rather a dilemma for HA manufacturers to dispense via audiologist/clinic on the one hand, and also sell direct to consumer geeks on the other!
    I don't think Blamey Saunders Hears (Australia) or America Hears would have a problem with it. Not sure if they've got the resources to get the technology integrated and 'out there' quickly though. My experience with an Audiologist wasn't that satisfactory so I don't really want to go that route again. I'll keep an open mind on that though, and see what products come out.

  10. Default

    Quote Originally Posted by KenP View Post
    Well, they could always use hardware to prevent programming without their dongle. After all this is a "medical device" that should only be programmed by a "licensed professional."
    Yeah. Not sure if claiming a particular Bluetooth profile (Hearing Aid - Low Energy in this case) is an all-or-nothing thing. They may want to allow their clients to use their smartphone to control volume or select a program, but not program their device. Or they might just ignore the whole thing and stick with their necklaces. It depends on how well the "medical device" protection holds up world-wide.
    Last edited by d'Wooluf; 08-29-2016 at 11:01 PM.

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