User Experience in Training a Personalized Hearing System

  • Gabriel Aldaz
  • Tyler Haydell
  • Dafna Szafer
  • Martin Steinert
  • Larry Leifer
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8519)


In this paper, we introduce Awear, a context-aware hearing system comprising two state-of-the-art hearing aids, an Android smartphone, and a body-worn Streamer to wirelessly connect them. Awear aims to improve the sound quality perceived by individual hearing aid wearers by learning from their stated preferences. Users personalize, or “train,” the system by performing several listening evaluations daily. The Awear app features two types of user-initiated listening evaluations, the A/B Test and the Self-Adjustment Screen. After a longitudinal (6-week) study in which hearing impaired participants (n = 16) used Awear, 10 of the participants stated a preference for training their system using the A/B Test, 3 preferred using the Self-Adjustment Screen, and 3 stated No Preference. Of the 10 who chose the A/B Test, 7 named simplicity or intuitiveness as the primary reason for this preference. We also found a strong correlation between user level of functionality and listening evaluation preference, and a supplemental interview (n = 24) verified this correlation. Lastly, we discuss the most important aspects of the user experience: cognitive, functional, and psychological dimensions.


User experience hearing aids smartphones personalization mobile apps listening evaluations 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
  2. 2.
    Coleman, M.: There’s a hearing app for that. Hearing Journal 64(11), 12,14,16 (2011)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Craik, K.: The nature of explanation. Cambridge University Press (1943)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Csikszentmihalyi, M., Larson, R.: Validity and reliability of the experience-sampling method. Journal of Nervous and Mental Disease 175(9), 526–536 (1987)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Dalebout, S.: The Praeger Guide to Hearing and Hearing Loss: Assessment, Treatment, and Prevention. Praeger: Westport (2009)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Edwards, B.: The Future of Hearing Aid Technology. Trends in Amplification 11(1), 31–45 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
  8. 8.
  9. 9.
    Hougaard, S., Ruf, S.: EuroTrak I: A consumer survey about hearing aids in Germany, France and the UK. Hearing Review 18(2), 12–28 (2011)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Horrigan, J.: The Mobile Difference, Pew Internet and American Life Project (2009)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Kochkin, S.: MarkeTrak VII: Hearing Loss Population Tops 31 Million People. Hearing Review 12(7), 16–29 (2005)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Kochkin, S.: MarkeTrak VIII: 25-year trends in the hearing health market. Hearing Review 16(11), 12–31 (2009)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
  14. 14.
    Romano, T.: Better Hearing Through Bluetooth. New York Times (January 15, 2014)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Schilit, B., Adams, N., Want, R.: Context-Aware Computing Applications. In: 1st International Workshop on Mobile Computing Systems and Applications, pp. 85–90 (1994)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
  17. 17.
    World Health Organization Fact Sheet 300 (2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gabriel Aldaz
    • 1
  • Tyler Haydell
    • 1
  • Dafna Szafer
    • 1
  • Martin Steinert
    • 1
  • Larry Leifer
    • 1
  1. 1.Mechanical EngineeringStanford UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations