European turboprop manufacturer ATR is looking to improve the experience of passengers who suffer from hearing loss with its Audioback solution, unveiled at the 2019 Aircraft Interiors Expo.
According to the World Health Organization figures from 2018, 6.1% of the world’s population – some 466 million people – suffer from hearing loss that qualifies as a disability.
After working with an association that focuses on people who suffer from hearing loss, ATR found that passengers who ask for special assistance on their flight are likely to be offered a wheelchair or the option of receiving information in braille. In response, the OEM developed Audioback, which delivers in-flight announcements to a hearing aid’s telecoil even if it’s switched off. ATR came up with the concept after finding that many passengers turn off their hearing aid once on board because it can’t distinguish the announcements from other intrusive noise.
In the following video interview, Zuzana Hrnkova, the company’s VP Marketing, tells director of APEX Media Maryann Simson about Audioback and the company’s broader focus on accessibility.