Saturday, 27 February 2016

Audiology Affiliates Explains the Process of Selecting the Right Hearing Aid Model

When someone start talking about hearing aids and hearing loss, most people run a mile, but as this article shows choosing the right hearing aid can make a difference, using the 4 factors framework listed below. 





Modern hearing aid technology is capable of treating just about any type and degree of hearing loss. This has resulted in a proliferation of hearing aid models that can feel overwhelming to the consumer. Navigating through the maze of hearing aid manufacturers, styles, and advanced functionality can seem like an insurmountable task.



That’s why Audiology Affiliates has release a helpful guide titled How to Pick the Right Hearing Aid Model. The guide describes how all hearing aids work, what makes the various models different, and how to choose among the many options by considering four factors.



The four factors to consider are style, ease-of-use, functionality, and price. These four factors cover cosmetic preference, issues with handling and care, specific functionality based on the type of hearing loss, and financial concerns. With all the hearing aid models available, there is likely a model that will meet all of the criteria for each individual patient.



After reviewing the four factors, the patient is ready to work with a hearing specialist to find the ideal model. The hearing specialist serves three very important roles. One, they can test the patient's hearing to determine the type and degree of hearing loss. Two, they can guide the patient toward the optimal hearing aid model. And three, once the hearing aid is selected, they can program the hearing aid to amplify sound according to the exact characteristics of the patient’s hearing loss.



Wednesday, 24 February 2016

Some Thoughts On... The Sony TV & HiFi Over-Ear Wireless Headphones

I don’t care who knows it; I still think wireless headphones are cool. Like bowties, or fezzes in that respect. Oh sure, there are drawbacks, sacrifices that must be made, but its still a total novelty to take a conference call whilst standing up and wandering around.

I don’t know about you, but I think better on my feet. That’s why I’m crap at job interviews, because I appear far more nervous than I actually am, due to all the squirming I do. In reality, if I could just stand up and pace around the room at will, well, you’d probably be reading this article as-written by someone with far greater knowledge and experience.

And get this, the Sony Over-Ear headphones have a 100m listening range. That means that it should be entirely possible for you to get up and make yourself a cup of tea whilst still listening to...Whatever it was you were listening to that was so riveting that it made you crave caffeine in the first place. Feasibly, you could even venture outside to yell at the local kids, or pick up the paper.

Also, with these headphones, you’ll get 28 hours out of a AAA battery, now you really can’t say fairer than that, can you? Especially if you charge it up when you’re not using it.

They are big though. Like, really big. Instead of being built for regular, Human-size heads, they appear to have been sculpted with Red Dwarf’s resident mechanoid Kryten in mind (two BBC Sci-Fi references in one article? Bonza!), the sheer size is ridiculous. They are adjustable, of course, but you might still have every cause to wish these headphones were smaller.

Another negative is the sound quality. I don’t want to say that it is bad (of course, there’s a ‘but’ coming...), but there is a low hiss that seems to permeate everything that you hear, as well as a loud cut-off noise if the signal is broken in any way. From a design perspective, this second feature makes a lot of sense, you don’t want to be outside, waffling away to your mate and not notice that the signal has dropped out (as happens so often with mobiles), but still, there simply has to be a better way, doesn’t there? The noise is loud, intrusive and actually rather scary at times.



However, apart from those minor, nagging problems, these headphones are actually quite nice. They sound OK, the wireless function works beautifully and the price is alright as well. Nice one, Sony.

Thursday, 18 February 2016

Types Of Two Way Radio Antennas

An antenna is essentially the most crucial element of a two way radio and other transmitting application such as cell phones, television, radar, or satellite communication. It is responsible for performing the most important task - converting electric power to transmittable radio waves and the other way round.

How an Antenna Works

To transmit a signal, the transmitter provides an electric charge that oscillates at a specific radio frequency to the terminals of the antenna. Consequently, the antenna sends out corresponding electromagnetic waves. During reception, the antenna takes some of the power of the transmitted electromagnetic waves to generate an extremely small voltage for the terminals, which is then redirected to a receiver that amplifies the signals. This is basically how an antenna works.

Extensive Applications

The applications supported by an antenna go beyond communication. The same concept powers today's high tech wireless applications that run computer networks; Bluetooth enabled systems, garage door openers, and baby monitors. It's important to know that a perfectly functioning antenna is not only critical to the functioning of your two way radio; it also helps maintain the life or longevity of your equipment.

The Bigger, The Better

The first and most important rule of thumb about an antenna to keep in mind is that the taller it is, the higher your db gain. A high volume of db gain is critical to achieving a stronger reach and better performance of your two way radio equipment. This basically translates to, "the bigger, the better." However, in order to achieve results in practical situations, the antenna can have only so much height. In essence you have to sacrifice convenience for performance or vice versa. You can't walk around or even install a gigantic antenna for all your needs, say for example your car radio.

Positioning of Antenna

The second rule of thumb pertains to the positioning of your antenna. The most optimal position for then antenna would be the centre of your metal car roof. In situations where this is not possible, you would need a "no ground plane" antenna. A no ground plane is basically just a metal surface that goes around the base of your antenna so that you have something for the radiating signal to react with. The next aspect you need to consider for your antenna is the frequencies at which you would be transmitting on. A VHF radio transmits and receives in a range from 136 to 174 MHz.

Chubby and Long Antennas

There are different kinds of two radio antennas available depending on how you want to use it. The large stock antenna is powerful and can be replaced or upgraded as you require. The shorter or stubby antenna provides a great deal of convenience. You can add a longer whip antenna to enhance your range. When it comes to two way radios, you stand to gain a great deal of advantages by having a business radio that comes with a removable antenna. The one problem is that removable antennas may not necessarily be compatible with all kinds of radios.

Monday, 15 February 2016

ETRI presents a blueprint of the 5G Future

We will see a huge change in the way we access the the internet in the future when 5G is here, at speeds that only big businesses and high level internet companies see at the moment, we will have this to hand on our smart phones and tablets. When 5G is hundreds of times faster than any of the UK's broadbands, households will be looking to the mobile phone companies to supply their home broadband.

A 5G future is no longer a distant one, but an upcoming reality. High quality videos of more than 10Mbps can be served simultaneously to 100 users even in a train running at up to 500km/h. People can experience data rates that are 100 times faster than currently available technologies.

The Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) of Korea will hold a "5G technology demonstration" on the 18th December, 2015. It will demonstrate future SNS (social network service) and several 5G core technologies such as "millimeter wave", "Mobile Hot-spot Network", "in-band full duplex" and so on.



5G is the next generation wireless technology that would provide even faster data rates, even lower delays, and even more devices connected than 4G. Accordingly, distinct and differentiated applications are expected in 5G.

ETRI's "future SNS" is a kind of trial service model to apply 5G technologies that provides dynamic user-centric connection to neighboring people, things and spaces. It is characterized by instant content-sharing between users, communication with neighboring things, and Giga-bps(Gbps)-grade video applications in vehicles.

5G core technologies demonstrated by ETRI include the following:

-- MHN (Mobile Hot-spot Network) is a mobile backhaul technology that provides high-speed Internet access of Gbps in vehicles at speeds of up to 500 km/h (e.g. KTX in Korea). Almost 100 passengers can watch videos of high quality simultaneously.

-- ZING is a near-field communication technology that enables mass data to be transmitted with 3.5 Gbps data rate between neighboring devices within the radius of 10cm.

-- Single-RF-Chain compact MIMO technology enables a single antenna to simulate the effect of multiple antenna. It can reduce antenna volume and cancel inter-antenna interference in a multi-antenna system.

-- Millimeter wave (mmWave) beam switching technology provides fast switching of radio beams to mobile users, and therefore allows seamless Gbps-grade service in mobile environments.

-- Mobile Edge Platform (MEP) is a mobile edge cloud server on vehicles that enables passengers to enjoy customized Gbps-grade content and connects them with neighbors, things and spaces. It provides user-centric services.

-- In-band Full Duplex technology can transmit and receive signals simultaneously over the same frequency band. It can increase spectral efficiency by up to two times.

-- Small cell SW technology is designed for AP(Access Point)-sized small cell base stations that can reduce communication dead zones and improve data rates per user in a hot-spot area.

"With this demonstration event, we are officially introducing our R&D results on 5G. We will continue to lead the development of 5G technologies. Also, we are trying to develop commercialization technologies needed by businesses, and to construct a 5G ecosystem." said Dr. Hyun Kyu Chung, vice president of ETRI Communication & Internet Lab.

In January, 2016, ETRI will demonstrate Giga internet service and future SNS in a Seoul subway train installed with MHN and ZING kiosks. ETRI will also introduce hand-over technology on a millimeter wave mobile communication system and 5G radio access technology that satisfies 1 millisecond radio latency.

About ETRI

Established in 1976, ETRI is a non-profit Korean government-funded research organization that has been at the forefront of technological excellence for about 40 years. In the 1980s, ETRI developed TDX (Time Division Exchange) and 4M DRAM. In the 1990s, ETRI commercialized CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) for the first time in the world. In the 2000s, ETRI developed Terrestrial DMB, WiBro, and LTE-A, which became the foundation of mobile communications.

Recently, as a global ICT leader, ETRI has been advancing communication and convergence by developing Ship Area Network technology, Genie Talk (world class portable automatic interpretation; Korean-English/Japanese/Chinese), and automated valet parking technology. As of 2015, ETRI has about 2,000 employees where about 1,800 of them are researchers.

Wednesday, 10 February 2016

Teleprompters and earpieces are changing theatre, and not necessarily for the better

This article was originally posted on thestage.co.uk and they highlight that the use of earpieces for prompting actors is increasing, this very simple technology used in this way makes people uncomfortable. But why? Earpieces these days are so small that people standing really close to the wearer would have literally be standing on top of them to see it, let alone be 15m away. Maybe it’s the thought that the actor should be able to remember their lines? or that bringing undue technology into the theatre would decrease the value of it?

Car crash theatre. That's how a colleague described Al Pacino's return to the Broadway stage in David Mamet's new play, China Doll.

For those who may not have been following the story, Pacino's return to Broadway has been blighted with problems â€" most notably, reports that he cannot remember his lines. Teleprompters have been installed around the stage and Pacino wears an earpiece, even after the production's opening was delayed.

Pacino is not the only star on Broadway this season getting help with his lines. If reports are to be believed, Bruce Willis in Misery is also being given a helpful prompt or two through an earpiece, as are Cicely Tyson and James Earl Jones in The Gin Game.

However, Pacino seems to be the main focus of press criticism and a large part of me feels sorry for him. Undoubtedly, he is under intense pressure â€" despite past success on Broadway, he is in danger of being remembered best, if not most fondly, for China Doll.

The sign outside the Schoenfeld Theater quotes a line from Pacino’s character in the play: “Can you just tell me what’s happening?” In the circumstances, it seems both ironic and ill-judged. Meanwhile, around the corner at the St James Theatre, the comedy musical Something Rotten has put up a cheeky, if somewhat venomous, sign on its canopy, saying: “All actors promise to memorize most of their lines”.



For any actor, it is terrifying to think that one day, no longer being able to remember your lines, you may not be able to work. The interesting point about this situation is that the media have been far more forgiving of other actors: Tyson and Jones have been treated as beloved national treasures. At 90 and 84 years old respectively, they have a few years on 75-year-old Pacino and therefore it's may be understandable that they require prompts. A similar response greeted Angela Lansbury who, in Blithe Spirit on Broadway and in the West End, wore a cleverly designed hat which incorporated ear pieces.

Despite criticism of Pacino's use of prompting devices, China Doll has not seen a slump at the box office. Audiences seem to be happy to pay top-dollar ticket prices to see their favourite stars on stage whether they know their lines or not. Does this mean we accept that teleprompters and earpieces will become inevitable in theatres? Has a precedent now been set for Hollywood actors to slip into a play during a gap in their moviemaking schedules believing they don’t need to spend time learning lines? Will audiences continue to tolerate this because of that star’s status and the opportunity to see them live?

I hope not: knowing lines is a fundamental skill in the craft of acting. I want to see star actors on stage but I also want to see and remember them at their best. And the reporting of apparent production problems does nothing to help a theatre industry already faced with an audience which may expect or hope for a disaster on stage to tweet about; the resulting social media noise overshadows anything else to do with the play itself.

China Doll is â€" on paper â€" a hit show, with its headline star bringing in high weekly grosses that will likely see the play recoup. But in the long term that should not be the only way to judge the success of a production.Teleprompters and earpieces are changing theatre, and not necessarily for the better

Monday, 8 February 2016

SwiftKey launches symbol-based communication app for people who are non-verbal

Any technology that can improve peoples lives is always a technology that will be championed by us here, and if it is helping people with learning or speech difficulties then that is more incentive for us to bring it to our readers. This is current available on the google store for android devices and we are stating now that this should be on apple devices as soon as possible, the original article can be found on the verge website.

SwiftKey, the predictive smartphone keyboard company, wants to help people who are non-verbal communicate with others. The company launched an experimental symbol-based assistive app today called SwiftKey Symbol, which it says can be used to build sentences using images. SwiftKey staff who have family members with autism spectrum disorder came up with the idea for the tool, according to the company's blog.

The app, which is free and available on Android, makes use of SwiftKey's predictive technology to suggest symbols that might be used to finish a sentence. Outside factors like the time of day or the day of the week will influence these predictions, the company says. Users can also add their own images and use audio playback to read out to sentence to others.

Symbol-based communication apps like this aren't new. Apps like Proloqui2Go and TouchChat also rely on pictograms to build sentences. But these tools can be expensive, and SwitKey says that its own take on the assistive app will be able to form sentences faster than the competition. "A lot of the current communication tools on the market are often too slow to select a particular image a child might choose," the company wrote on its blog. "We realized that SwiftKey’s core prediction and personalization technology â€" which learns from each individual as they use it â€" would be a natural fit for people on the autistic spectrum who respond particularly well to routine-based activity."



In the US, about two in 100 children have an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis. People with autism have varied needs, so it's possible that this app could enhance communication for some people. We haven't tried the app yet â€" but we're eager to see what it can do.