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Tuesday, 15 February 2011 12:59

One app can make a difference


Sometimes iPhone apps bring me close to tears of joy.

Guest post by Charmian Gaud

I have a hearing disability and despite very expensive hearing aids I find it almost impossible to hear what's being said at public meetings. I've tried the induction loop at theatres, and although some hearing is possible it is still an enormous struggle.

During the next couple of weeks I must attend a government advisory committee and I know hearing will be nigh impossible. I've visited the site to test the induction loop and it's like the theatre - OK, but not really good.

So what does an Apple fan do when faced with a problem? She searches for an appropriate app for her iPhone.

soundAMP R ($5.99) is the most wonderful app for anyone who is hard of hearing. I am gobsmacked by how well it works. It seems like sound is magnified fourfold, and it has a range finder so you can 'zoom in' according to the distance from the sound source.

If you miss anything you can rerun the last 30 seconds, and the app can make very clear recordings which can be transferred via Wi-Fi to a computer running iTunes.

Please read on, especially if you're not prepared to risk $5.99!

There's also a lite version ($1.99), but that lacks recording and other features, and has a lower maximum volume. A $4.99 in-app purchase upgrades soundAMP Lite to soundAMP R.

I get a lump in my throat when I think about SoundAmp because being in a situation where can't hear is so un-empowering. I've have favourite apps before, but this is a life changer. I feel like sending a bunch of flowers to the developer.

I would encourage any iPhone/iPad/iPod touch owner with a hearing disability to try this app. It looks like you are listening to music or wearing a handsfree kit, but really you are engaging with society.

Charmian Gaud is business manager at HM Leisure Planning.



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Stephen Withers

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Stephen Withers is one of Australia¹s most experienced IT journalists, having begun his career in the days of 8-bit 'microcomputers'. He covers the gamut from gadgets to enterprise systems. In previous lives he has been an academic, a systems programmer, an IT support manager, and an online services manager. Stephen holds an honours degree in Management Sciences and a PhD in Industrial and Business Studies.



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