The Evolution of Hearing Aids: From The 19th Century To Now

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By Nathan Gomez

humanearAdvancements in hearing aid technology have made it possible for many people with hearing impairments to significantly improve their ability to hear. While hearing aids have been in existence since the 19th century, they’ve changed so rapidly over this time that today’s devices are almost unrecognizable to the ones available in the past. This article takes a look at the evolution of the hearing aid from the 19th century right through to 2016.

The Early Model

The first hearing aids came out in the 19th century and were essentially ear trumpets that projected sound through a funnel. Once Alexander Graham Bell invented the telephone in 1876, however, hearing aid technology was vastly improved. Bell’s revolutionary invention allowed hearing aid manufacturers to further regulate the frequency, loudness and distortion of sounds that would come through the hearing aid.

The Turn of the 20th Century

1913 was the year that the Siemens Company began production on the first hearing aids to be electronically amplified. As is probably expected of machinery at that time, these hearing aids were bulky and not easy to carry around. They were similar in size to a cigar box, with a speaker that fitted into the ear.

The next major advancement in hearing aid technology came just seven years later, with the development of the vacuum tube in 1920. Invented by naval engineer Earl Hanson, the vacuum tube used a telephone transmitter to convert speech into electrical signals.

Post World War 2

In 1948, Bell Laboratories released the transistor. This was the next big turning point in the technological evolution of hearing aids and would continue to remain a defining component for decades to come.

The 1970s saw the creation of the first microprocessor, which enabled technology to start getting more compact while still maintaining the hearing aids’ ever-improving clarity. In 1975, Daniel Graupe produced a six-channel hearing aid which offered digital control of the frequency across all channels.

The Digital Age

1987 saw the launch of the first commercial digital hearing aid. Bell Laboratories created a hybrid digital/analog hearing aid that fitted around and into the ear. Other companies followed suit by designing their own hybrid hearing aids with analog amplifiers and filters that were able to be controlled digitally. In 1996, the first digital hearing aid to be commercially successful was launched by Widex.

The Present Day

Hearing aids have come a long way from the ear trumpets of the late 19th century. In 2016, they are considerably smaller and come with a wealth of added features. One of the most noted advancements of modern-day hearing aids is the invention of invisible Lyric hearing aids, which sit deep in the ear canal, making them virtually invisible to other people. For hearing aid wearers that might have been self-conscious about having their mechanism on display for all to see, this is a big move forward. We can only wonder how hearing aids will continue to evolve in the future!

Gathering The Seeds; The Evolution Of Consciousness

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By Peter Canova

As I sat down to write this article on April 15th, 2013, news came that my hometown of Boston suffered a lethal terrorist attack. We could say that this runs counter to the theme of this article; that is, that consciousness is evolving. The Boston attack was clearly not an evolved act. If anything, this demonstrates the complexity of the subject, because evolving consciousness is a process and is not uniform.

brainthinkingConsciousness at a basic level involves two things: awareness and the ability to process and use information. Awareness has several levels. Animals are aware of their environment, but they lack self-awareness in the sense of being able to think about themselves in relation to their place in the larger universe. They act rather than reflect. But even the reflective human mind is fragmented. We have subconscious and unconscious levels of the mind as well as a polarized perceptual mechanism called the left and right brain.

Why all the compartmentalization? Very simple. If our consciousness was a single unity, we would be God, or at least we would perceive at a godlike level, and we would not at all perceive ourselves to be the individuals we think we are.

God, or Consciousness with a capital C, broke Itself up so It could become us.

Creation was not a singular act by the wave of God’s hand. It was a flinging of God’s arm spreading seeds of the One Consciousness throughout creation.

These seeds would grow in different levels of awareness depending upon how far they landed from the source of the nourishing light that had born them, and this physical dimension is said to be the farthest of all. But like every seed sown, a time comes to gather and to reap the harvest. This ingathering of the conscious seeds back to the source is what we call spiritual evolution.

A polarity runs throughout the universe. It is a form of energy you might be familiar with as yin and yang, or female and male.

A polarity runs throughout the universe. It is a form of energy you might be familiar with as yin and yang, or female and male. This polarity is reflected in humans as the left and right brain hemispheres. The left brain is the domain of the male force- logic, intellect, analytic thought, science, and math. As the source of intuition, feeling, holistic thought, art, and abstract creativity, the right brain is more femininely oriented.

Ancient spiritual texts identify the yin, or female force, the feminine face of God, if you will, as that which led the fall or dispersal of consciousness into creation. When consciousness first fell into material form, this feminine force would have dominated the minds of our early ancestors. History does tell us that most societies prior to 3,000 BC were feminine oriented and worshiped some form of the goddess in their mysteries. The world would have seemed magical to the early humans as they intuited their way through life in pulsations with the rhythms of nature.

But now consciousness found itself embodied in physical form subject to all the laws and perils of physical existence. Wild beasts preyed on our ancestors. They needed to gather food and seek shelter. They had to organize and analyze in an effort to understand and control their environment.

The left brain, or male way of thinking, eventually came to dominate the human thought process so successfully that today we are practically destroying ourselves for the sake of dominance and power as we find ourselves living in the vestiges of modern patriarchal societies today.

But I believe we are on the verge of a shift, because I believe consciousness is an evolutionary spiral. I believe the feminine, intuitive energy is recycling into our lives to balance the dominant male oriented thought forms that have set the tenor for modern societies. The attack in Boston exemplifies exactly what we must evolve away from. Such aggression is the age old impulse to dominate and control through fear.

If the original information of creation is a unity, then evolution in consciousness means personally intuiting that unity. When one person harms another, it ultimately comes from ignorance of that fact. It is the current resurgence of the intuitive feminine energy that takes our minds off the material world of separation and opens them to the spiritual.

Great advances nearly always begin among smaller numbers on the periphery of a society. They work their way inward slowly, just as forging a new nation in the old West happened on the frontier, while it took time for the events to be absorbed in the settled areas back East.

teensThis growing consciousness fueled by the feminine energy is in full swing among the group that has come to be known as the “Cultural Creatives.” These are people from all walks of life “whose values embrace a curiosity and concern for the world, and an openness to self-actualization through spirituality, psychotherapy, and holistic practices.”

I have been attending holistic conferences for five decades now. Until perhaps ten years ago, if I was in a lecture with 200 present, there would have been 199 women and me. Guys just didn’t attend such way out, touchy-feely events. Now I consistently speak at large forums with thousands attending, and the audiences are almost equally divided. Something radical clicked within the minds of these men, because the “feminine” flavored content of these gatherings has not changed much.

The number of people identifying themselves as religious is declining, while those who identify themselves as spiritual is rising. My book, Pope Annalisa is a spiritual thriller that I had to self-publish because it was too unusual for mainstream publishing. But in 2012, out of nowhere, actors and producers in Hollywood got hold of it, loved the content, and I signed a movie deal. A new consciousness has made Hollywood ready for the book.

The gateway to higher consciousness is balancing our male/female energies to make intuition and intellect work in harmony. A tipping point will occur when enough people awaken by personal experience to the true nature of our reality. We are the seeds of consciousness. One day, all those seeds will be gathered into the one basket from which we came. Then, as one great figure said, we shall be near the Kingdom of Heaven.

– For the past 30 years, Peter Canova has traveled the world researching mainstream and alternative religious/spiritual studies, along with quantum physics. He is considered one of America’s foremost authorities on the secret teachings of the Gnostic Gospels and the Sacred Feminine, and is the acclaimed author of the newly released spiritual thriller, Pope Annalisa, the winner of nine national book awards, including the Nautilus Gold Award for visionary fiction formerly bestowed on such authors as Eckhart Tolle, Deepak Chopra, and the Dalai Lama. The executive producers of the Academy Award winning movie, Black Swan, have signed a deal with Peter to produce a film adaptation of Pope Annalisa.