Hearing aid manufacturers have not had the easiest time trying to offer support for Android devices in the past, but Google is trying to make that easier.
Google recently published protocol specifications online that detail building native support for hearing aids in Android (by way of The Verge). Google is currently working with the Danish hearing aid manufacturer GN Hearing to build a brand new hearing aid spec for Android devices. This new spec is called Audio Streaming for Hearing Aids, or ASHA.
ASHA takes advantage of Bluetooth Low Energy (LE) and is designed to be battery efficient. The new spec should also offer high-quality audio while also boasting low latency. When the spec is finalized, this means that hearing aids will be able to stream and connect directly to Android devices without a separate device facilitating the connection.
What’s more, ASHA means that Bluetooth-enabled hearing aids will be able to work in a similar way as standard headphones, which means they can be used to make and answer calls and listen to music.
GN Hearing says that the ReSound LiNX Quattro and Beltone Amaze hearing aids will get an update in the near future to support ASHA. And those aforementioned protocol specifications being published means that other hearing aid manufacturers can build native support for their devices on Android.