Hearing aids: do you hear what a FLY hears?

google free ormia ochraceaResearchers have created a new device that may be instrumental in creating the next generation of hearing aids. And the tiny animal that helped them do it? A fly.

Wondering what a fly has to do with hearing aids? Insects usually aren’t good at pinpointing the source of a sound because their bodies are so small that the sound hits both of their ears at just about the same time. But a certain fly- Ormia ochracea- has a unique sound-processing mechanism that adjusts for this, and the fly is incredibly accurate at determining the source of sounds.

Researchers have replicated the fly’s hearing mechanism in the form of a device that is only 2 mm wide. Many hearing aid users have problems sorting out noises, and this technology may be able to improve directional hearing aids and help users determine the direction of the sound much more accurately. Read more about it here:

http://www.engr.utexas.edu/news/7821-fly-hearing-device