The grant helps further testing for personal sound amplification products for seniors.

GLENDALE, Calif. (August 2, 2017)—Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW), part of Front Porch, a not-for-profit organization that serves individuals and families through full-service retirement, active adult communities and affordable housing communities, announced today it was chosen as a grant recipient by The Consumer Technology Association (CTA) Foundation for its “Hearables for All” project.

“Hearables for All” is a 12-month program launched by the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing to explore the next generation of wearable hearing devices for older adults with hearing loss. Front Porch is among nine organizations to receive an award that totals more than $500,000 in grants from the CTA Foundation. The project will explore a group listening system and additionally test the effectiveness and viability of emerging smartphone-controlled Personal Sound Amplification Products (PSAPs), which enhance listening through wireless in-ear buds.

The American Academy of Audiology notes a correlation between untreated hearing loss and depression and self-isolation. The “Hearables for All” Project seeks to overcome these challenges by promoting social wellness and increasing engagement among older adults.

“The health and wellness impact of hearing loss can’t be overstated,” said Kari Olson, president, Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing, and chief innovation and technology officer for Front Porch. “As we age, the inability to hear conversations and participate in discussions progressively takes us down a path of self-isolation. This is particularly true in group settings where it can be difficult for a listener to track multiple speakers at once. The mounting evidence of deteriorating health conditions due to social disengagement is impossible to ignore,” Olson said.

The “Hearables for All” project began at Front Porch this summer using emerging yet readily available hearing solutions. FPCIW has started to deploy Eversound, a group listening system designed to combat natural hearing loss by allowing for more engaging group events. The Eversound system broadcasts events through multiple headsets equipped with volume controls, reaching and including multiple participants in an audience. The project will also soon begin testing with PSAP earbud products such as Doppler Labs’ Here One and Nuheara’s IQbuds.

“We’re in the midst of an exciting explosion of hearing solutions that is already disrupting the traditional hearing device market, and the impact potential of these new solutions will be enormous for wellbeing and independence of older adults,” said Davis Park, director of the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing. “This generous grant from the CTA Foundation enables us to test these consumer solutions and accelerate their adoption,” said Park.

The hearing products will be tested throughout multiple Front Porch communities at Town Hall meetings, among select Front Porch residents and other senior communities. Ultimately, the insights gleaned from the FPCIW “Hearables for All” project will benefit not only Front Porch residents, but the older adult population as a whole, which is central to the mission of the Center.

“The Consumer Technology Association Foundation is thrilled to be supporting Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing’s “Hearables for All” project,” said Stephen Ewell, executive director, Consumer Technology Association Foundation. “We are at an exciting moment in technological innovation related to hearables. I expect this project will show that new tools to help people hear can make a major difference in the quality of life for older adults.”

A cornerstone of the Front Porch mission is the cultivation of partnerships. FPCIW collaborates with innovative partner organizations to meet the diverse needs of residents through technology solutions that make a difference in the lives of older adults.

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