December 18, 2018. With our warm houses and cars, we can easily forget (at least I can) how hard winter can be, not only on us, but also on our devices.
In the days before smart phone cameras and even digital cameras, we had to take photos using film. One cold December day in Winnipeg, with a temperature of at least -45oC during an exceptional cold snap, my husband and I set off to take photos at a special event. We had a few stops to make before that, and being a big city girl, I made sure the camera was in the trunk, not visible in the car. If you come from a cold climate, then you can guess what happened when I took the camera inside for the big photo op after it had been in the trunk for two hours. It wouldn’t work. The camera was frozen, as was the film. No photo op. Luckily, the camera and film survived, but the moment was lost. I never made that mistake again. The camera sits in my purse these days!
I was reminded of that event after Dr Heidi Eaton of Argus Audiology in Moncton shared some tips for protecting your hearing aids in winter in the graphic below. Who knew?
While on the subject of hearing aids, you may be interested to know that researchers in China are working on a camera connected to a hearing aid that can see where your attention is focussed and not only block out background noises, but also see what the speaker’s mouth movements are and predict what vocal sounds will be made and have the hearing aid adjust the frequencies accordingly. The research team leader at Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University, Dr Andrew Abel, notes that “When we talk to each other, we don’t just rely on sound. We look at each other’s faces, we look at each other’s body language, and we all lip-read to an extent.” You can read the article at https://newatlas.com/cognitive-hearing-aid/57621/
Hearing aids use batteries. How many of you have put in a new battery, only to find out it wouldn’t work as long as you expected? Or maybe you can’t remember which battery is old, and which one is new? Our thanks to Oticon Canada for posting this tip:
“To test to see if your batteries are new, simply drop them on a table from a height of 10-15cm. New batteries will land without bouncing, while old batteries will bounce several times.”
See the video at: https://www.facebook.com/oticonaus/videos/735600169964718/
If you try this test and your battery does bounce, it doesn’t mean it’s dead, just that it isn’t new. In an article about whether a bouncing battery has lost it’s charge, found at https://www.princeton.edu/news/2015/03/30/battery-bounce-test-often-bounces-target, Daniel Steingart, assistant professor of mechanical aerospace engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment explains that “The bounce does not tell you whether the battery is dead or not, it just tells you whether the battery is fresh.”
Thanks to Heidi Eaton and Oticon Canada for sharing these interesting tips. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or comment on our blog. You can also follow us on Twitter: @HearPEI.
© Daria Valkenburg