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DESCRIPTION JP2005286876

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DESCRIPTION JP2005286876
An object of the present invention is to adjust a hearing aid regardless of the presence or absence
of an external input terminal, and also to enable adjustment in consideration of directivity. When
an coordinator instructs execution of an environmental sound reproduction program 44 using an
input device 34 of a PC 30, the environmental sound reproduction program 44 is executed by a
processing device 32, and an environmental sound selection screen is displayed on a display
device 36. Is displayed. When the coordinator selects the necessary environmental sound, the
environmental sound reproduction program 44 extracts the corresponding data file from the
environmental sound database 42 and the processor 32 executes and reproduces it. Thereby, the
corresponding environmental sound is output from the speakers 12A to 12D. The reproduced
environmental sound is heard by the wearer 16 through the hearing aids 14R and 14L. The
wearer 16 informs the coordinator of the degree of hearing of the environmental sound. The
coordinator adjusts the hearing aid by the input device 34 while referring to the adjustment
screen according to the hearing condition of the wearer 16. [Selected figure] Figure 1
Environmental sound presentation device and hearing aid adjustment device
[0001]
The present invention relates to an environmental sound presentation device and a hearing aid
adjustment device for presenting environmental sound for adjustment (fitting) of a hearing aid,
and more specifically to improvement of environmental sound presentation suitable for
adjustment of a digital hearing aid .
[0002]
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1
As a prior art which adjusts a hearing aid, there exists an environmental sound presentation
apparatus of the following patent document 1, for example.
According to this, from the plurality of environmental sound signals stored in the environmental
sound file storage unit, any one environmental sound signal is selected by the environmental
sound signal selection unit. The selected environmental sound signal is converted to an analog
signal by the environmental sound signal converter, and is input to the external input terminal of
the hearing aid via the calibrator. In this way, environmental noise is presented to the wearer of
the hearing aid. Japanese Patent Laid-Open No. 2000-308197
[0003]
However, the background art as described above has the following disadvantages. (1) It is limited
to the case where the hearing aid has an external input terminal, and can not be applied to a
hearing aid without an external input terminal. (2) It is difficult to adjust in consideration of the
directionality of sound to the wearer. For example, the speech may be heard from the front of the
wearer or from the back, and no optimal adjustment can be made for each of them.
[0004]
The present invention focuses on the above points, and provides an environmental sound
presentation device and a hearing aid adjustment device capable of favorably performing
adjustment of a hearing aid in consideration of directivity regardless of the presence or absence
of an external input terminal. , That is the purpose.
[0005]
In order to achieve the above object, the present invention is an environmental sound
presentation device for presenting an environmental sound for adjusting a hearing aid to a
wearer of the hearing aid, wherein at least left and right speakers are provided to the wearer. It is
executed by a soundproof room disposed, an environmental sound database in which data of a
large number of environmental sounds reproduced by the speaker are accumulated, and a
computer system, and designated environmental sound data of the environmental sound
database is extracted and An environmental sound reproducing means for outputting to a
corresponding one of the speakers for reproduction is provided.
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[0006]
One of the main modes is characterized in that speakers for reproducing the environmental
sound are disposed to the wearer in the front, rear, left and right.
According to another aspect, the apparatus is characterized by comprising simulation means for
comparing the hearing condition of the hearing impaired person and the healthy person.
Alternatively, the environmental sound database is characterized by including data of
environmental sound to be heard in a directional manner with respect to a wearer.
[0007]
Still another mode is any one of the environmental sound presentation devices, wherein display
means for displaying an environmental image to the wearer, data of the environmental image
corresponding to the environmental sound accumulated in the environmental sound database are
accumulated. An environmental image reproducing means for extracting an environmental image
corresponding to an environmental sound reproduced by the environmental image database and
the environmental sound reproducing means from the environmental image database and
outputting the image to the display means for reproduction. .
[0008]
The hearing aid adjustment device according to the present invention is a hearing aid adjustment
means, which is executed by the computer system and adjusts the hearing aid according to the
hearing condition of the wearer who listens to the environmental sound presented by any of the
environmental sound presentation devices; It is characterized by having.
The above and other objects, features and advantages of the present invention will be apparent
from the following detailed description and the accompanying drawings.
[0009]
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According to the present invention, a large number of environmental sounds for adjusting the
hearing aid are accumulated in the environmental sound database, and appropriate ones of these
are reproduced from the speakers arranged in the soundproof room. Therefore, the hearing aid
can be adjusted regardless of the presence or absence of the external input terminal. Further,
since the speakers are disposed on the left and right sides of the soundproof room or the left and
right front and rear sides, environmental sound can be reproduced from the specific direction to
the wearer, and the hearing aid can be adjusted in consideration of the directivity.
[0010]
Hereinafter, the best mode for carrying out the present invention will be described in detail
based on examples.
[0011]
First, Embodiment 1 of the present invention will be described with reference to FIGS. 1 to 3.
The whole structure of Example 1 is shown by FIG. As shown to the same figure, the soundproof
room 10 is prepared. At the four corners of the soundproof room 10, speakers 12A to 12D for
reproducing environmental sound are respectively arranged. The wearer 16 wearing the hearing
aids 14R and 14L to be adjusted is located approximately at the centers (centers of sound fields)
of the speakers 12A to 12D. The speakers 12A to 12D are connected to a PC (personal computer)
30 via an audio amplifier 18 and an I / F 20, and the hearing aids 14R and 14L are connected to
the PC 30 via an I / F 22.
[0012]
The PC 30 mainly includes a processing unit 32 including a CPU, a RAM, and a ROM, and
includes an input unit 34 such as a keyboard and a mouse, a display unit 36 such as a liquid
crystal display, an output unit 38 such as a printer, and a hard disk 40 There is. The abovedescribed I / Fs 20 and 22 are connected to the processing device 32. In addition, a DVD drive
etc. are connected as needed.
[0013]
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The hard disk 40 includes environmental sound data 42 in which data files of various
environmental sounds are accumulated, an environmental sound reproduction program 44 for
selecting and reproducing a desired environmental sound, and a hearing aid adjustment for
adjusting the hearing aids 14R and 14L. A program 46 is stored. In addition, an area in which the
adjustment data 48 is stored is also secured.
[0014]
Among the above, the environmental sound database 42 includes data files of environmental
sounds as shown in FIG. In the figure, for example, a file F00 is a sound pressure calibration
voice of the speakers, and a file is prepared for each of the left and right front speakers 12A to
12D. The audio amplifier 18 is adjusted so that the strength and phase of the sound of the four
speakers 12A to 12D become substantially the same using the sound for sound pressure
correction.
[0015]
The files F01 to F03 are male and female conversations, and voice sizes are set to be different. A
file of such a conversation may be provided as needed, such as a conversation between a woman
and a child, and a conversation between an old man and a woman. Files F11 to F14 are
conversation and traffic noise, and the degree of traffic noise is set to be different. Instead of
traffic noise, files such as train sounds, cluttered conversational sounds at party venues, etc. are
also prepared appropriately. In the file F21, male and female conversations are in stereo. For
example, a male voice is output from the front left speaker 12A, and a female voice is output
from the front right speaker 12B. Of course, the opposite may be applied, or the signals may be
output from the rear speakers 12C and 12D.
[0016]
The files F22 and F23 are speech and traffic noise, but differ depending on whether the speech is
heard from the front or the rear of the wearer 16. The file F31 is a file for reading such as a
novel, and audio is output from the four speakers 12A to 12D sequentially clockwise, for
example. A counterclockwise file is also prepared as needed. The files F41 to F43 are sounds of a
specific frequency band. Sounds in a wide band include rain, carbonated water, copiers, and
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airplanes. Sounds in the high frequency band include wind bells, bells, kittens, telephones,
showers and the like. The low frequency sound includes a water tank, a dryer, and a dog. Files
F51 to F54 are sounds of a specific frequency. For example, file F51 is the sound of a vacuum
cleaner with a frequency of 500 Hz, and file F52 is the sound of a hair dryer with a frequency of
1000 Hz.
[0017]
In addition, the sound of the alarm clock, the sound of the water, the sound of the washing
machine, the sound of the door chime, the sound of the shopping mall, the sound of the
department store, the sound of the train, the sound of the telephone bell etc. . The sound length
of each file is appropriately set, for example, 50 seconds, 20 seconds, 5 seconds, and the like.
Further, which one of the four speakers 12A to 12D outputs the sound of each file may be set as
appropriate.
[0018]
Next, the environmental sound reproduction program 44 has the following functions: a, a
function of displaying a selection screen of environmental sounds stored in the environmental
sound database 42 on the display device 36, b, the environment selected by the input device 34
on the display screen The function of extracting the sound data file from the environmental
sound database 42 and sending it to the processing device 32, and reproducing / outputting the
corresponding one of the speakers 12A to 12D via the I / F 20 and the audio amplifier 18
respectively Have.
[0019]
The hearing aid adjustment program 46 is for fitting (adjustment of the way of hearing) the
hearing aids 14R and 14L, and is generally provided by the maker of the hearing aids 14R and
14L.
Specifically, adjustments such as gain (volume), loudness, clarity, directivity, noise reduction and
the like are performed. Adjustment items also differ depending on the type of hearing aid, such
as digital and analog.
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[0020]
The adjustment data 48 is data resulting from the adjustment of the hearing aids 14R and 14L,
and data such as the date and time of the adjustment and the contents of the adjustment are
managed together with customer data such as the name and address of the wearer. The hearing
loss simulation program 60 in FIG. 1 will be described later.
[0021]
Next, the operation of this embodiment will be described. As preparation for adjustment of the
hearing aids 14R and 14L, sound pressure calibration of each of the speakers 12A to 12D is
performed, for example, once a week. The coordinator (operator) who operates this system
installs a sound level meter (not shown) at the position of the wearer 16 and instructs the
execution of the environmental sound reproduction program 44 using the input device 34 of the
PC 30. . Then, the environmental sound reproduction program 44 is executed by the processing
device 32, and an environmental sound selection screen is displayed on the display device 36.
The coordinator refers to the screen and selects sound for sound pressure calibration. Then, the
corresponding sound pressure calibration sound file F00 is extracted from the environmental
sound database 42 by the environmental sound reproduction program 44 and sent to the
processing device 32. The processing unit 32 executes the voice calibration voice file F00 and
reproduces the voice calibration voice. As a result, audio signals for sound pressure calibration
are output from the speakers 12A to 12D, and the sound pressure is calibrated using the sound
level meter. That is, the audio amplifier 18 is adjusted so that the sound pressure levels of the
speakers 12A to 12D become the same.
[0022]
Next, adjustment of the hearing aids 14R and 14L will be described with reference to the
sequence diagram of FIG. When the coordinator executes the environmental sound reproduction
program 44 on the processing device 32, an environmental sound selection screen is displayed
on the display device 36 (step S10). On the other hand, the wearer 16 having the hearing aids
14R and 14L to be adjusted attached to his / her ears sits at a predetermined position as shown
in FIG. The coordinator connects the adjustment terminals (not shown) of the hearing aids 14R
and 14L to the I / F 22 of the PC 30, and executes the hearing aid adjustment program 46 in the
PC 30. As a result, the adjustment screen is displayed on the display device 36 (step S12).
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[0023]
Next, the coordinator refers to the environmental sound selection screen of the display device 36
of the PC 30 and selects a necessary environmental sound (step S20). Then, the corresponding
data file is extracted from the environmental sound database 42 by the environmental sound
reproduction program 44, and is executed and reproduced by the processing device 32. Thereby,
the corresponding environmental sound is output from the speakers 12A to 12D. The wearer 16
listens to the environmental sound reproduced through the hearing aids 14R and 14L (step S22).
The wearer 16 notifies the coordinator of the hearing condition of the environmental sound (step
S24). The coordinator performs the adjustment operation by the input device 34 while referring
to the adjustment screen according to the hearing condition of the wearer 16 (step S26). For
example, work such as lowering the gain as a whole or raising the high frequency region is
performed. Repeat the above steps while changing the environmental sound. For example, the
following adjustment is made.
[0024]
(1) Adjustment with data files F01 to F03: A conversation between men and women is presented
to the wearer 16 with a change in size. The adjustment of gain is mainly performed. By
presenting a conversation of the normal size of the data file F02, it is possible to compare the
degree of hearing when wearing the hearing aids 14L and 14R and when not wearing them. In
addition, it is possible to adjust the speech intelligibility when using a hearing aid. Furthermore,
when the wearer 16 uses a conventional linear amplification type hearing aid and newly wears a
WDRC (wide dynamic range compression) type hearing aid, the size of the conversation is
changed to hear both hearing aids. The condition can be compared. The WDRC hearing aid has a
non-linear amplification characteristic that the amplification factor of small voices is high and the
amplification factor of large voices is low, and its characteristics can be verified by changing the
voice size. .
[0025]
(2) Adjustment based on data files F11 to F14: A conversation under traffic noise such as an
intersection is presented to the wearer 16 while changing the noise level. The adjustment of
noise reduction is mainly performed. As a result, the wearer can verify the extent to which the
improvement in the ability to listen to speech under noise is improved or the limit can be known.
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In addition, by wearing only one of the hearing aids 14R and 14R, the difference in listening
between single ear wearing and double ear wearing under environmental noise can be verified,
and by changing the type of environmental noise, environmental noise can be reduced. It is also
possible to verify differences in listening due to differences. In the present embodiment, noise
and conversation are one data file, but conversation and noise may be configured as separate
data files, and the level of noise for conversation may be changed to perform mixing
reproduction. .
[0026]
(3) Adjustment by data files F21 to F23: The voice of the conversation is presented to the wearer
16 from a specific direction. Adjust the directivity and balance check of the left and right hearing
aids by presenting conversations of men and women from the left and right speakers 12A and
12B respectively by the data file F21 and presenting conversations under traffic noise from the
front or back by the data files F22 and F23. It can be performed. In addition, by comparing the
cases of wearing the square ears and those wearing the double ears, it is possible to verify that
the direction of the sound source can be more easily judged in the case of wearing the double
ears and listening to the back conversation is also easier.
[0027]
(4) Adjustment with data file F31: A reading voice is presented in the order of front left speaker
12A → front right speaker 12B → rear right speaker 12C → rear left speaker 12D. The sense of
direction of the sound source can be confirmed by circulating and presenting the reading from
the four speakers.
[0028]
(5) Adjustment by data files F41 to F43: Environmental noise for each frequency band such as
laughter, sound of police car siren, operation noise of air conditioner, etc. is presented. Thereby,
the gain for each frequency band can be adjusted, and further, the loudness and the sound
quality can be adjusted.
[0029]
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(6) Adjustment according to data files F51 to F54: Individual environmental sounds such as a
vacuum cleaner, a hair dryer, an electric razor, an alarm bell, etc. are presented. Thereby,
verification of the listening of the sound of a specific frequency can be performed.
[0030]
(7) Adjustment by various environmental sounds ... For example, by presenting environmental
sounds in various living environments such as hospital waiting rooms, shopping malls, arterial
roads, restaurants, pachinko parlors, music halls, department store food department etc. The
simulation can be easily performed without the wearer 16 coming to those places.
[0031]
As described above, the adjustment of the hearing aids 14R and 14L is performed, and data 48 of
the adjustment content and the adjustment result are obtained.
The adjustment data 48 is managed together with the data of the customer who is the wearer 16.
[0032]
As described above, according to the present embodiment, since the speakers are disposed on the
left and right, front and back of the wearer, an extremely realistic environment reproduction is
possible, and the hearing aid is properly adjusted and the hearing condition is verified. be able to.
In particular, adjustment in consideration of the directionality can be easily performed.
Furthermore, since there is no need for an external input terminal, it can be applied to any type
of hearing aid with or without an external input terminal.
[0033]
Next, a second embodiment of the present invention will be described. In addition, suppose that
the same code | symbol is used for the component corresponding to Example 1 mentioned above.
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In the second embodiment, not only the sound but also the image is simultaneously displayed. As
shown in FIG. 4, in the present embodiment, the environment image database 50 is prepared in
the hard disk 40. The environmental image database 50 is an accumulation of environmental
image data files corresponding to environmental sound data files included in the abovementioned environmental sound database 42. For example, images of men and women who talk
at intersections where vehicles come and go are prepared for the environment sound of the
environmental sound data file F13 and the traffic noise. Note that different environmental image
data files may be prepared for each environmental sound data file, or one environmental sound
data file may be prepared in common for a plurality of environmental sound data files. Further,
an environmental image reproduction program 52 is prepared in the hard disk 40. The
environmental image reproduction program 52 is to be executed in conjunction with the
environmental sound reproduction program 44 described above.
[0034]
Furthermore, in the present embodiment, the display 54 is provided on the front side of the
wearer 16 in the soundproof room 10, and is connected to the processing device 32 via an
appropriate I / F 56. The environmental image file read out from the environmental image
database 50 is supplied to the display 54 via the processing device 32 and the I / F 56 so that
the environmental image is reproduced.
[0035]
Next, the operation of this embodiment will be described. For example, as in the first embodiment
described above, it is assumed that the environmental sound data file F13 is selected on the
environmental sound selection screen by the environmental sound reproduction program 44.
Then, the environment image reproduction program 52 extracts an environment image data file
corresponding to the data file F 13 from the environment image database 50 and sends it to the
processing device 32. The processing device 32 further outputs the image data to the display 54
via the I / F 56. As a result, traffic noise and speech sounds are presented to the wearer 16 from
the speakers 12A to 12D, and images of men and women who speak at intersections where
vehicles come and go are presented from the display 54 to the wearer 16 Ru. For this reason, the
wearer 16 receives an impression as if he / she stands at an intersection and is listening to traffic
noise due to traffic of vehicles and men and women's conversations, and the hearing aid 14R in a
very realistic state. It becomes possible to adjust 14L.
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[0036]
Although the display 54 is disposed in front of the wearer 16 in the present embodiment, the
display 54 may be disposed on the left and right side surfaces, and further, on the upper surface
or the rear surface. Further, the display 54 and the speakers 12A and 12B may be integrally
configured. Furthermore, at the end of the adjustment, the adjustment data 48, for example, an
audiogram (audiogram) of the wearer 16 is displayed on the display 54, or an environmental
sound selection screen is displayed on the display 54. The present invention may be applied to a
usage method such as reproducing an environmental image and verifying the degree of
adjustment. The image may be a moving image or a still image. スライドショーのようなものであ
ってもよい。
[0037]
Next, a third embodiment of the present invention will be described. The third embodiment is an
example in which a family or a relative of a deaf person performs a simulation to experience the
hearing condition of the deaf person. In the present embodiment, the hearing loss simulation
program 60 shown in FIG. 1 is executed. The hearing loss simulation program 60 has the
following functions: (1) An audiogram of the person to be simulated, that is, a function of
displaying an input screen of sound pressure levels for each frequency measured by a hearing
tester (not shown); The sound pressure selected by the reproduction program 44 is a sound
pressure level that a normal person can normally hear, a sound pressure level that reflects the
audiogram of the deaf person, and a sound pressure level that can be heard when the deaf
person wears a hearing aid. 3 types of functions to play back, (3) functions to display a screen to
select which one of the environmental sound of the 3 types of sound pressure levels to play, (4)
the 3 types of sound pressure levels of environmental sound It has a function to display and
output as a frequency spectrum by an audio spectrum analyzer. The sound pressure level when
the person with the hearing loss wears a hearing aid can be obtained by referring to the
adjustment data 48 of the first embodiment described above.
[0038]
According to this embodiment, first, the coordinator executes the hearing loss simulation
program 60 on the PC 30, displays an input screen, and inputs audiogram data of a person to be
simulated. Thereafter, the environmental sound reproduction program 44 is executed to select an
appropriate environmental sound data file. Next, when the coordinator selects any one of the
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three types of sound pressure levels described above by the hearing loss simulation program 60,
the selected environmental sound is reproduced according to the type of sound pressure level. By
repeating such a procedure, the selected environmental sound is reproduced at the sound
pressure level of the healthy person, the sound pressure level based on the audiogram of the deaf
person, and the sound pressure level when the deaf person wears the hearing aid. By listening to
these in the soundproof room 10, families and relatives of deaf people can extremely easily
determine what level of deafness the deaf person is and how it can be improved by the hearing
aid. It can be simulated.
[0039]
In the above description, only the audiogram of the deaf person is considered, but the speech of
the deaf person is reproduced by reproducing the speech such as speech or reading at a sound
pressure level which also considers the speech intelligibility (speech discrimination function) of
the deaf person. The degree of listening can also be simulated. The speech intelligibility is given
by the correct answer rate when about 20 single syllables such as "a", "ki", "shi", "ta" and "ni" are
presented. It depends on the sound pressure level to be presented.
[0040]
Next, when the coordinator selects the frequency spectrum display on the input screen, the
frequency spectrum of the sound pressure level of the reproduced environmental sound is
displayed on the display device 36. If necessary, the three sound pressure levels are
simultaneously displayed on the screen. That is, for the deaf person themselves, the analyzer
output when wearing a hearing aid of a healthy person, deaf person and deaf person, that is, the
difference in frequency spectrum is displayed. As a result, the hearing impaired person can
visually understand that the hearing is lower than that of the healthy person and that the hearing
aid improves hearing even if the person does not reach the healthy person by wearing the
hearing aid.
[0041]
Also, for example, when there is a large hearing loss in the high range, the low- and mid-ranges
can usually be improved to the range where the conversation can be heard, but the high-range
can be difficult. Can be explained visually. Furthermore, by showing on the graph of the
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frequency spectrum a threshold at which normal speech can be heard, for example, it is difficult
for the naked ear to listen to normal speech, but wearing a hearing aid reaches a threshold at
which normal speech can be heard. It can also be explained. Of course, by presenting the above
points not only to the deaf but also to their families etc., the family can visually understand those
points. Note that the display of the frequency spectrum of the sound pressure level may be
performed by the display 54 shown in FIG. 4 or may be printed out.
[0042]
The present invention is not limited to the embodiments described above, and various
modifications can be made without departing from the scope of the present invention. For
example, the following are also included.
[0043]
(1) The system configuration of the PC shown in the above embodiment is an example, and the
design can be changed so as to exhibit the same function. For example, although the database
and the program are stored in the hard disk in the above embodiment, they may be stored in a
storage medium such as a DVD, or may be provided through a network. For example, a server is
installed in the head office, a client PC is installed in the branch office, and data files and
programs are provided from the server of the head office to the client PC in the branch office.
[0044]
(2) The environmental sound and the environmental image shown in the above embodiment are
also an example, and a larger number of environmental sounds and environmental images may
be prepared as needed. The configuration of the soundproof room shown in the above
embodiment is also an example, and for example, more speakers are prepared, and the
illumination is changed according to the environmental sound.
[0045]
According to the present invention, not only a hearing aid with an external input terminal but
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also a hearing aid without an external input terminal can be applied. In addition, it is possible to
adjust in consideration of the directionality of sound with respect to the wearer, and is
particularly effective for adjusting a digital type hearing aid.
[0046]
It is a block diagram which shows the structure of Example 1 and Example 3 of this invention. It
is explanatory drawing which shows an example of the environmental sound database of the said
Example 1. FIG. It is explanatory drawing which shows the adjustment procedure of the hearing
aid by the said Example 1. FIG. It is a block diagram which shows the structure of Example 2 of
this invention.
Explanation of sign
[0047]
10: soundproof room 12A to 12D: speaker 14R, 14L: hearing aid 16: wearer 18: audio amplifier
20, 22: interface 30: PC (personal computer) 32: processing device 34: input device 36: display
device 38: output device 40 : Hard disk 42: Environmental sound database 44: Environmental
sound reproduction program 46: Hearing aid adjustment program 48: Adjustment data 50:
Environmental image database 52: Environmental image reproduction program 54: Display 56:
Interface 60: Deafness simulation program F00 to F54: File
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