Tencent Ethereal Audio Lab (TEA-Lab), a project under Tencent Meeting (VOOV meeting) in concert with Austria-based cochlear implant provider and implantable hearing solutions leader MED-EL and other partners, held a press conference to present their viewpoints on how technology helps create a barrier-free living environment in a move to further the implementation of the Ethereal Audio Program (EA Program) on September 26, the International Day for the Deaf. The event is a joint effort of a number of organizations and partners, including Tencent Foundation, the China Association of Persons with Hearing Disabilities (CAPHD), Beijing i-db Public Foundation and Zhejiang Nurotron Biotechnology Co., Ltd. During the conference, TEA-Lab and MED-EL unveiled the world’s first hearing aid app that combines hearing testing, artificial intelligence (AI)-assisted hearing and remote rehabilitation services.
“Over the past year, TEA-Lab continued its commitment to using open technologies, seeking a solution that helps restore hearing and launching rehabilitation programs while collaborating with professional organizations to enhance services for persons with hearing disabilities in a move to facilitate the implementation of the EA Program,” said Simeon Shang, general manager of TEA-Lab, at the event.
Co-developed by TEA-Lab and MED-EL, the hearing aid app is designed to provide enhanced hearing and remote rehabilitation services to individuals with hearing loss, allowing them to conveniently monitor their hearing ability via the app’s hearing test feature without needing to leave home amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In addition, hearing-impaired persons can hear clearly even in a noisy environment with the AI-assisted feature as well as book and attend counseling sessions and rehabilitation guidance from hearing and rehabilitation experts remotely.
Helping hearing-impaired users hear clearly again by leveraging advanced technologies to address their needs
“The hearing aid app co-developed with TEA-Lab provides a convenient hearing solution to hearing-impaired users based on their actual needs,” stated MED-EL’s CEO for China Ding Guoyu in her speech. “As a leader in the cochlear implant sector in terms of technologies and services, MED-EL is committed to continuously helping the disabled group restore hearing by providing them with high quality hearing solutions and services so that they can enjoy life much the same as those with normal hearing.”
Only with a mindset geared towards openness and collaboration with others can innovation be taken further and can technology be counted on to serve the public better. As part of the EA Program, a short film was released that featured public service ambassador for the program and renowned Chinese singer Zhou Shen who, together with the beneficiaries of the program, read the poem “I Want to Hear”, a composition calling for all to do their bit to help persons with hearing impairments, with the aim of creating a society with information accessibility.
Continue exploring approaches to creating and implementing public service programs while utilizing technology-driven innovation to build sustainable value for society
“I’m excited to be a witness to the actions undertaken by numerous thoughtful companies and organizations who, through the leveraging of the power of technology, have helped members of the disabled group improve their hearing while countering the public’s misconceptions about hearing disabilities by providing constructive information on the topic of hearing loss as well as guidance on how members of the public can assist,” noted Yang Yang, director of the China Disabled Persons Federation and chairman of CAPHD, in her speech.
Tencent has always been dedicated to its mission and vision of using technology for good with an ongoing focus on bringing value to users. “AI technologies can be expected to see wide application across a variety of sectors to help create a barrier-free society while the value of the technologies can be maximized to serve people,” said Dowson Tang, Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent and CEO of the Cloud and Smart Industry Group. “Going forward, we expect to further leverage emerging technologies to create and implement public service programs in the digital era together with partners from multiple sectors, with the ultimate goal of jointly building sustainable value for society.”