Friday, December 2, 2011

World's First Waterproof Sound Processor

Advanced Bionics just issued a press release about its new waterproof Neptune sound processor.

Since the days when I was a kid and communication really didn't matter in the face of fun and games, I've disliked swimming and hanging out in water (at least, with people who don't sign) because the knowledge that I will be totally deaf while in the pool,  playing at the beach, etc. is just uncomfortable. If there's the slightest risk that I'll get my CI or hearing aid wet, I just go without - meaning forfeit my hearing. To this day, I have absolutely no concept of how things sound underwater or in watery environments. (I still have memories of being coerced into playing "Marco Polo" in the fifth grade. The other kids loved it because I of course took forever being the one underwater. To this day the notion that I even participated seems laughable.)

And having the option of not wearing the processor behind the ear - how wild. Except maybe a few rare days of being sick in bed, I've never gone a day in my life (since way back when I was diagnosed with my hearing loss) without some hearing device perched on my ears. I feel naked without one.

The design does look strange (a disembodied, futuristic-looking box instead of something clearly designed for ears), and I've been perfectly happy with my Harmony processor, but for me the concept of the Neptune is intriguing. And so, so cool. And common sense. I'm happy that AB is taking steps toward solving real technological barriers that have existed for deaf people for decades.

In a nutshell: even though I'm not a poolside kiddie anymore, I want one. Sort of.


  1. I couldn't play Marco Polo either =(

    Other thing I was thinking of—are there fashion accessories for your CI? haha!