In an effort to better accommodate users that suffer from hearing loss, Google has announced that it is working with the Danish hearing aid maker GN Hearing to bring hearing aid support to future versions of its Android mobile operating system.
Together the two companies are creating a new hearing aid spec for Android smartphones called Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids (ASHA (opens in new tab)) that will enable Bluetooth hearing aids to be used in a similar fashion to headphones.
Android users will soon be able to connect and monitor their hearing aids right from their Android device using the new spec.
The news follows a similar announcement made by Apple which recently debuted its Made for iPhone hearing aid program (opens in new tab) that will allow users to connect and control their hearing aids from iOS devices. However, since 85 per cent of the world's smartphones run on Android, Google's announcement has the potential to impact more users overall.
According to the World Health Organisation, 466m people around the world suffer from disabling hearing loss and both Google and Apple's efforts will greatly impact their daily lives.
Additionally manufacturers such as Bose, Oticon and Harman are all currently working on making hearing aids smarter with built-in sensors and greater app support.
Hearing aid support on Android will use as little of a device's battery as possible while still providing high quality audio to users.
Image Credit: Google