Sennheiser has launched a new version of MobileConnect, a WiFi-based system geared towards hearing impaired students for assistive listening in lectures at educational institutions.
The latest version of the MobileConnect App is more intuitive to use and simpler to integrate into lectures. It also features improved audio handling and stream stability, while maintaining uncompromised low latency. For the visually impaired, the MobileConnect App now features voice-over captions and a dark mode, which makes it easier to adapt the app to their personal needs.
The app’s personal hearing assistant now opens immediately when the app has been started. To make channel selection as easy as possible for the user, the MobileConnect App lets them either enter a channel ID or use the integrated QR code scanner, depending on what the university offers. When the lecturer pauses, a waveform animation will signal to users that they are still linked up with the transmission channel.
“The new MobileConnect App is an ideal tool for use at universities,” said Jakub Kolacz, product manager for Mobile Connect. “In academic education, hearing is a significant part of learning. By transmitting whole lectures in real-time via WiFi directly to students’ own devices, no matter where they are seated, academic institutions are able to offer true inclusion.”
To install the MobileConnect system, a Sennheiser ConnectStation is linked to the university’s existing audio infrastructure and connected to the same WiFi network. All students need to do is download the free MobileConnect App, which – due to the unique Unicast Mode – is compatible with all iOS and Android devices as well as hearing aids, Cochlea implants and headphones. Students use their own smartphones, so no additional hardware is necessary.
“The MobileConnect system doesn’t require maintenance or operating costs and by including the students’ own devices there is no need for any headphone hygiene or battery management. This means the investment in MobileConnect is quickly amortized,” explained Kolacz.
The Christian Albrechts University in Kiel is an example of the impact Sennheiser’s assisted listening system has on the academic lives of hearing-impaired students. The university’s event technology team integrated four ConnectStations into the existing WiFi, thereby covering many different lecture halls across the campus. It is now much easier for the students to follow lectures, as they don’t need to sit in the front row and close to the loudspeakers or resort to lip-reading.
“Barrier-free access to learning resources such as lectures or courses is a right that all students should expect and that every academic institution should provide,” concluded Kolacz.