Ormia Ochracea: Key to Innovative Hearing Aids

Posted on August 25, 2014. Filed under: hearing health, hearing loss, hearing products | Tags: , , , , , , , |

Everyone is always on the lookout for the newest in technology. The newest innovation in hearing aids could be fast approaching and all inspired by one tiny creature…a parasitic fly. The fly species, more formally known as the Ormia Ochracea fly could prove to be the key for a huge advancement in hearing aid technology. The hearing structure of the Ormia Ochracea has baffled many for years because of its hypersensitivity and accuracy. Now hearing aids are being designed to reflect that of the parasitic fly.

The Ormia Ochracea has powerful hearing, which allows the fly to be able to detect the exact location of a chirping cricket and is dependent upon the sound-processing structure, which looks a lot like a seesaw. The structure allows for the sound phase to shift within the ear and amplify the time delay to locate its prey. Taking this into account, scientists are using the hearing structure of the Ormia Ochracea in order to develop an innovative hearing aid, which could hone in specifically on the conversation that the user wants to listen to. The technology is currently being tested and developed by researchers at Cockrell School of Engineering.

One of the biggest complaints revolving around most hearing aid technology is that in order to hear more accurately in different situations, the user is only allowed to turn the volume up or down as they see fit. The problem with this is that it will also amplify or decrease the volume of surrounding interactions and background noise as well. The most notable difference of the new technology would be that the user of the hearing aid inspired by the Ormia Ochracea could pinpoint the sounds they want to focus on with precision just like the parasitic fly can with crickets. Although the technology is still being developed, with success and support, hearing aid users in the future could witness a remarkable improvement over the quality of their hearing and life as a whole.

Ormia Ochracea


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