As previously mentioned in a guest post submitted for my colleague Gyl Kasewurm’s blog (see Hearing industry: rose bush full of thorns or thorn bush full of roses?), the hearing industry has been undergoing a drastic change, bringing the independent private practice owner newer and more challenging competition. Even if you choose to ignore it, the Internet has made it both possible and easy to purchase hearing instruments and hearing-instrument-look-alikes. Big box stores offer end-users hearing instruments at lower price points while PSAPs continue to ruffle some audiology feathers. The change is happening and technology is becoming more readily accessible to everyone’s fingertips. For example, there now is a relatively new app that can turn your smart phone into a TV listening device at a press of a button without any additional accessories.
Tunity is a free app that allows anyone with an iPhone or Android to stream audio from a live TV, even when it is muted, directly to the smart phone. When you scan the TV of interest, the app quickly identifies the channel and then automatically streams live, synchronized audio to your smart phone.
So, if you (or your hearing instrument wearing patients) are in a loud bar during March Madness trying to watch your alma mater play amongst the other competing games, you can easily access the audio of your TV of choice and have it streamed directly to your smart phone via the Tunity app. Likewise, if you find yourself in a dorm room situation where you want to watch TV while your roommate needs to study, use the app to direct the audio to your headphones. It is applicable at home, at the airport, in waiting rooms, and any other situation where there is a TV that is hard to hear whether or not you are a hearing instrument wearer. The applications are endless and the app is very cool. As an avid sports fan and frequent traveler, I now personally use it to optimize my TV listening experiences. Check it out for yourself at Tunity.com and let your patients know how they too can optimize their TV-listening experiences with the free Tunity app.