This has some very interesting potential for those who are hearing impaired. soundAMP (iTunes link) is an iPhone app that bills itself as the “first assistive application that turns your iPhone or iPod Touch into an interactive hearing device.” Essentially you plug in your headphones that include a microphone fire up the app and you hear amplified sound that comes through you microphone.
You can adjust the volume (obviously) put the application also allows you to equalize certain ranges to your taste. There’s also a “repeat” feature in case you want to go back and hear something again.
I can imagine a number of scenarios for this to be useful. Many theatres have technical solutions that require devices be given to patrons who need hearing assistance for better hearing. This requires keeping the devices charged up and ready to go. (Sadly we don’t have this yet at Wayside Theatre.) With this solution patrons can essentially bring their own device. Although I would imagine actors from the stage might think the audience member with the white earbuds plugged in is ignoring the show.
I can’t vouch completely for how well this works. I’ve put it through some very limited testing this morning, but it does indeed make everything I hear through the earbuds louder. I do mean everything. I was in the theatre and when the Volunteer Fire Department went out on a call, I became quickly very aware that they had sirens blaring. So, if you’re using this at a wedding to hear those vows and someone sitting in front of you is the sniffling type, you’re going to hear those sniffles as well.
The app costs $9.99.