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Hearing aids aren't the most discreet cybernetic creations, because the need for a clog-free microphone means that they generally need an external component. Engineers at the University of Utah and Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland aim to change everything with a much smaller mic that uses an accelerometer to detect sound vibrations -- so it requires no opening and can be inserted right into the ear. The only exterior hardware is the charger -- worn exclusively at night. Clinical trials in living humans begin approximately three years from now, and if you're looking forward to using this new device, removal of the incus (or anvil bone) in the middle-ear must first take place to optimize effectiveness of the new implant. We never said it'd be pretty.