Guest Blogger: Liz Kobylak, Hearing Technology Resource Specialist
The exhibit hall at the 2016 national convention of Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA) convention was filled with interesting displays of products that can benefit people who have hearing loss. One nifty de-vice that caught my eye was the “ditto”, a battery operated Bluetooth vibrating cell phone signaler, from a company named “Simple Matters”. The easy-on-the-wallet price ($40) made it a hit. Ditto is designed to vibrate when one receives an important cell call, text or e-mail message… it is clipped to clothing or carried in a pocket. Ditto can also be used as a timer or wake up alarm.
The Ditto box comes with the following:
- Battery (CR1632)
After inserting the battery and attaching the clip, the Ditto is paired via Bluetooth with your cellphone (iOS or Android) using the free Ditto app… and you are ready to go. The default settings are: 1 vibration for an email, 2 vibrations for a text, and 3 vibrations for a phone call. The app allows the user to customize settings as desired/needed: to select favorite contacts and only be alerted to those incoming messages or to be alerted to a calendar event. The vibrations can be changed or turned off via the app. The Ditto can also be used as a timer or alert to third party apps such as Facebook.
As a person with severe to profound hearing loss, I often do not hear the alerts my Android phone emits. This happens frequently when the phone is inside my purse or I am in a noisy environment. Not that I want to be alerted to every single incoming message, but it is nice to stop checking the phone dozens of times for an ex-pected important message from specific people. I like that the signal is unobtrusive to those around me. Additionally, when travelling, I have been hauling around my beloved bedside alarm clock with the bed shaking feature. However, I have recently noticed that many hotels are streamlining the appearance of their guest rooms with fewer available outlets near the bedside. The “charging station” is usually not close enough for me to use my special clock. The wristband that comes with the Ditto allows for gentle vibration on the wrist. It is not exactly fashion forward but gets the job done.
The manufacturer states that the Ditto can be programmed as a tether device to help those people who tend to leave their phones behind in restaurants, etc. The battery will last 3-6 months, depending on the amount of use and the app promises to alert me when battery life is running low, which I find reassuring. The device is also waterproof and can be worn while swimming or showering. The Ditto comes with a 12 month warranty.
This is a simple device that is very easy to use. To see how the Ditto works for yourself, visit the Simple Matters website.