Apple asks FCC to have its Made for iPhone accessories recognized as hearing aid alternatives

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According to a recently filed document with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), Apple is looking to have its Made for iPhone (MFi) accessories acknowledged as alternatives for hearing aid compatibility compliance.

The move was in response to the FCC’s proposal that all phones and consumer devices are to be compatible with hearing aids. Apple is claiming that all of its products that fall under its MFi hearing aid standards already comply with FCC’s hearing aid compliance regulations. The Cupertino California-based company went on to state that it’s Made for iPhone hearing aids are already available to consumers everywhere as well, making them a valid alternative to the hearing aid compatibility requirement that the FCC is proposing.

As part of its MFi hearing aid platform FCC filing, Apple was touting that the platform offers an experience that is better than that of traditional hearing aids while noting that recognizing the platform as an alternative to the hearing aid compatibility requirement would help to develop new and improved ways to improve handset accessibility.

Apple had the following to say regarding the matter:

Apple is driven to make its devices truly accessible, and believes that consumers with hearing loss deserve a better experience than what traditional hearing aid compatibility technologies offer today. iPhones comply with existing HAC rules. But as the Commission has recognized, Apple has also invested heavily to improve accessibility by developing a new hearing aid platform that relies on Bluetooth® technology.

Apple believes that this Made for iPhone (“MFi”) hearing aid platform represents a substantial improvement to consumers over devices that are deemed accessible by today’s HAC rules. In order to encourage innovators to develop new and better ways to improve handset accessibility, the Commission’s rules should recognize solutions such as the MFi hearing aid platform as alternatives for hearing aid compatibility compliance.

The company ended on a note suggesting that the FCC should focus in the future of “qualitative assessments” rather than its current interface-based assessments to “create meaningful solutions.”

Those of you interested in reading the FCC filing from Apple can do so by clicking here.

What do you think of Apple’s stance on the matter? Share your thoughts below!

[Via 9to5Mac, FCC]

 

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