The idea was sparked during a fishing expedition on the Italian Lake Trasimeno, in the summer of 2015. The inventors are the long-time friends Daniele and Antonio, an ENT doctor and an engineer, with the same passion for sound and audiology. There on the boat, they decided to fish for something new: an application that lets you see what you hear.
One of Daniele’s frustrations has been getting patients to realize the extent of their hearing loss. Because these conditions tend to develop gradually over time, people often don’t realize how serious their impairment has become. The same is typically true for their family and friends. The unfortunate result is an unnecessary reduction of the patient’s quality of life, which could be easily improved with readily available technology. A problem like this begged for a clever technological solution.
The SEEAR application is the result of this vision. It shows you what you hear by modeling and displaying in real-time the human cochlea. The model displays both the mechanical and electrical activation, and can be tuned for each individual user.
For those with hearing loss, SEEAR provides striking visual feedback and an easy way to compare their condition with normal hearing.
Furthermore for a more complete experience, SEEAR includes two different modes of digital audio processing.
- Simulation Mode reproduces the patient’s hearing loss for people with normal hearing. This helps family and friends better understand the impact.
- Compensation Mode adaptively amplifies sound and models the improvements achievable with hearing aids. To people with normal hearing this mode will sound slightly distorted, a little like trying on someone else’s glasses. But that’s exactly the correction that the patient needs.
The SEEAR application is in its final phases of beta testing, and is available immediately for download and use. The currently supported platforms are Windows and macOS. The download is enabled for all registered users on this website. The beta version of SEEAR is absolutely free to use and requires no license. For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org.