Sunday, February 24, 2013

Swimming with Cochlear

We were invited, along with a few other families, to try out the waterproof swim gear coming out soon from Cochlear. You really can't see the bags from this photo because Gman needed a swim cap to hold them on his little malformed ears but other kids were able to wear them with a small band holding them in place. Are they completely ready for the market, not exactly but with just a few small touch ups I think they'll be a huge hit.

Did they work? YES! They did the job. His implants did not get wet and for the first time, he could swim, and go under water, and still hear wearing his processors the whole time with only a slight compromise in sound quality. The echo from the swimming area was a challenge anyway but if I took him down to the other end of the pool, covered my mouth so he couldn't speech read, ask him questions....HE COULD ANSWER THEM!!

He had to be very gentle before he put the swim cap on ducking under the water very easily or the coils (magnets) wouldn't hold. He tried the headband the other kids were wearing and it still wasn't enough but a swim cap held everything on great! The best part? He loved it. He smiled and said he liked being able to hear while he was in the pool. I watched him splash and make noises with some of the swim toys just to hear them. That was pretty awesome!

The only negatives I could see: I would prefer a brighter color (not clear) because we go to lakes a lot, should one come off, I'd like to see where it is. Also, the bottom of the product needs to be less "stiff". It rubbed into his neck and was uncomfortable. It didn't appear to be a problem with everyone depending on the child but more than one person had this issue. I like the fact that they will be affordable but we would probably use like 10 a day during summer with both kids and both ears so it would be nice if you didn't have to rip the bag open to get the processors back out and reuse them all day and just throw them away at the end of the day.

My friend Lisa was there also and she did her best to "drill" Cochlear for inside information on the N6's or the next processors due out in Fall from Cochlear. We are holding off to upgrade Brooklyn until the new ones come out so we are hoping they are as awesome as they plan. Sounded to us like they will be better for the kids in classrooms and possibly come with a lapel mic for teachers to use in place of FM systems since the new chip would make things easier for the kids changing environments. We shall see and our hopes are high.


bioniclissa said...

I have heard the N6 are the N 5 for n22 users who were not able to upgrade due to uncompatibility

dlefler said...

Oh, exciting news on the N6 front! It would be nice if the waterproof bags had the ability to float, especially for lake or ocean swimming!

Diane said...

Is there a place to get information on upcoming products? I searched Cochlear America's site, but didn't have much luck. My son has bilateral implants and we upgraded to N5's last fall. I was so excited to read your post about being able to swim with the processors on. My son will be thrilled!!