The Hearable Lament: 

 Hearing Economics looks forward to this time next year when we get to see the 2017 Hearables Hot Potato finalists.  Of course they’ll be tinier and cuter, but we hope they’ll also be multitalented, highly articulate, and dedicated to assisting everyone with ears, even people with hearing loss who want to listen to music while they swim.   (Hearables post from last year)

2015 was first dubbed the Year of the Hearable, then it was thought to move to 2016. Not so much. Now, at the end of 2017, our own Big 6 are making Hearables, even as the upstart Hearable innovators are struggling to stay afloat and figure out fulfillment or just closing shop.  This week, an Oticon device described in the media as a “Fitbit for your ears” won an important award in the consumer electronics industry (CES 2018 Innovation Award in the Software and Mobile Apps).

The device is worn in the ear and tracks fitness, hence it is a Hearable but not a hearing aid. The Hearable lament for those with hearing loss remains lamentable. We’re still awaiting the swiss army knife for the ears, per the Hearable promise.

 

GN Hearing Carves Out a Hearable Hearing Aid

Meanwhile, Resound’s patent #9788128 heralds “A new method of communicating a message to a human wearing a hearing instrument,” anticipated in the past as a Hearable/Personal Assistant.  As envisioned, the device accesses the Internet (or perhaps some other wide-area-network) to retrieve messages and convert them to speech, store and date-stamp them, and play back to the wearer. 

In the words of the patent, the device:

is provided with capability of presenting speech messages, such as calendar reminders, tweets, sms-messages, notifications, etc., e.g., from a user’s time management and communication systems at selected points in time.  … Personal time management may be performed with a computer, e.g. using an email system with electronic calendar, to-do-lists, and notes to manage daily activities and communications. Communication may also be performed via electronic social and professional networks. 

Almost as an after-thought, the patent adds that:

Optionally, the hearing instrument comprises a hearing aid. 

Hearing Economics is happy to end the year by welcoming in a Hearable for those with hearing loss, even if it’s just on the drawing board as we end 2017.  Maybe 2018 will be the real Year of the Hearable.

 

The October 2017 List

 

Description

Patent Number

Assignee

Issued

Systems and methods for detecting degradation of a microphone included in an auditory prosthesis system

9775998

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

10/03/2017

System comprising a cochlear stimulation device and a second hearing stimulation device and a method for adjustment according to a response to combined stimulation

9775999

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

10/03/2017

Programming systems for eliciting evoked responses in a cochlear implant patient and performing predetermined actions in accordance with the evoked responses

9776000

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

10/03/2017

Interaural coherence based cochlear stimulation using adapted envelope processing

9776001

MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

10/03/2017

Neural coding with short inter pulse intervals

9775997

MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

10/03/2017

Audio control using auditory event detection

9780751

Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corp (San Francisco, CA)

10/03/2017

Feature-based level control using loudness growth functions

9780747

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

10/03/2017

Medical device implantation imaging

9775539

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

10/03/2017

Hearing assistance device with a low-power mode

9781521

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

10/03/2017

Communication System

9781524

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

10/03/2017

Systems and methods for detecting degradation of a microphone included in an auditory prosthesis system

9781522

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

10/03/2017

Hearing instrument

9781523

Sonova AG (Stafa, CH)

10/03/2017

Portable monitoring device with hearing aid and EEG monitor

9782103

Widex A/S (Lynge, DK)

10/10/2017

Audio control using auditory event detection

9787268

Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corp (San Francisco, CA)

10/10/2017

Audio control using auditory event detection

9787269

Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corp (San Francisco, CA)

10/10/2017

Canal hearing device with elongate frequency shaping sound channel

9788126

iHear Medical Inc (San Leandro, CA)

10/10/2017

Hearing instrument with off-line speech messages

9788128

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

10/10/2017

Wireless charging system for hearing instruments

9788129

Siemens Aktiengesellschaft (Munich, DE)

10/10/2017

Removable battery holder in a hearing assistance device

9788130

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

10/10/2017

Method and device for the improved perception of one’s own voice

9788127

Sivantos Inc. (Singapore, SG)

10/10/2017

System and method for designing hearing aid components with a flexible cover

9788131

Sivantos Inc. (Singapore, SG)

10/10/2017

Personalization of auditory stimulus

9794672

Nura Holdings Pty Ltd (Brunswick, AU)

10/17/2017

Sound processor apparatuses with a multipurpose interface assembly for use in an auditory prosthesis system

9794696

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

10/17/2017

Systems and methods for managing wireless communication links for hearing assistance devices

9794697

Starkey Laboratories Inc (Eden Prairie, MN)

10/17/2017

Hearing device considering external environment of user and control method of hearing device

9794699

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd (Suwon-si, KR)

10/17/2017

Hearing aid with occlusion reduction

9794700

Sivantos Inc. (Piscataway, NJ)

10/17/2017

Gateway for a wireless hearing assistance device

9794701

Starkey Laboratories Inc (Eden Prairie, MN)

10/17/2017

Low-power active bone conduction devices

9794703

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

10/17/2017

Signal processing for hearing prostheses

9794698

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

10/17/2017

Implantable microphone for hearing systems

9794702

MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

10/17/2017

Template for bilateral symmetric stimulator fixation/implantation

9788914

MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

10/17/2017

Hearing aid tuning system and method

9794705

Bowie-Wiggins LLC (Burien, WA)

10/17/2017

Detection of whistling in an audio system

9794695

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

10/17/2017

Auditory perceptual systems

9795325

Posit Science Corp. (San Francisco, CA)

10/24/2017

Hearing device comprising a directional system

9800981

Bernafon AG (Bern, CH)

10/24/2017

Auditory stimulus for auditory rehabilitation

9801570

Massachusetts Eye & Ear Infirmary (Boston, MA)

10/31/2017

Inductive signal and energy transfer through the external auditory canal

9802043

MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

10/31/2017

System and method for neural hearing stimulation

9802044

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

10/31/2017

Hearing device and methods for wireless remote control of an appliance

9805590

iHear Medical Inc (San Leandro, CA)

1031/2017

System and/or method for enhancing hearing using a camera module, processor and/or audio input and/or output devices

9807492

Ambarella Inc. (Santa Clara, CA)

10/31/2017

Hearing device adapted for estimating a current real ear to coupler difference

9807522

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

10/31/2017

Hearing aid antenna with symmetrical performance

9807523

Starkey Laboratories Inc (Eden Prairie, MN)

10/31/2017

Trenched sealing retainer for canal hearing device

9807524

iHear Medical Inc (San Leandro, CA)

10/31/2017

Apparatus and method for determining parameter using auditory model of hearing loss patient

9807526

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd (Suwon-si, KR)

10/31/2017

Hearing Aid

D801536

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

10/31/2017

 

feature image from gizmoway

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