Cochlear implants are arguably the most successful devices to restore hearing for the deaf. Cochlear implants have been around for over 30 years and have since helped over 200, 000 patients. However, while the hardware has been successful in restoring hearing, the nature of the device makes it difficult for users to engage in activities such as swimming, and often limits shower use. In addition, many users feel a certain amount of stigma because of the way in which the external hardware is designed. However, a team of researchers at MIT have developed an implantable low-power signal-processing chip which will provide the benefits of a cochlear implant without any of the external hardware. The developers are hopeful for the advancement, though they say the design still needs to be optimized for use within the human ear.
(Source: IEEE Spectrum)