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Apple patents involve ways to aid the hearing impaired

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Two Apple patents have appeared at the U.S. Patent & Trademark Office showign that Apple is working on ways to improve support for hearing impaired users.

Patent number 20120183164 is for a social network for sharing a hearing aid setting. Broadly speaking, the embodiments disclosed in the patent describe a social network tailored to meet the needs of individuals having impaired hearing. More specifically the social network provides a mechanism by which members of the social network can communicate with each other information related to improvement the overall quality of life of the members.

In a particular embodiment, audio processing characteristics of hearing aids worn by and used by members of the social network can be modified based upon at least some of the information passed between members of the social network.

Patent number 20120183165 is for remotely updating a hearing aid profile. Broadly speaking, the embodiments disclosed describe replacing a current hearing aid profile stored in a hearing aid. In one embodiment, the hearing aid profile is updated by sending a hearing aid profile update request to a hearing aid profile service, receiving the updated hearing aid profile from the hearing aid profile service, and replacing the current hearing aid profile in the hearing aid with the updated hearing aid profile.

The inventors on both patents are Edwin W. Foo and Gregory F. Hughes.

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