Figure 1. 1987 Oldsmobile concept car, the Aerotech.

Not your father’s Oldsmobile” was a 1980s ad campaign to shake the geriatric stigma attached to such cars by featuring an “Aerotech” futuristic model (Fig 1).

Likewise, “Not your grandfather’s hearing aid” is a recurring theme in our industry  as technology moves to reduce stigma and introduce integrated, futuristic audio processing systems (feature image above) which use hearing aids and wireless processors to sense, localize, classify, store and modify sound environments.

Futuristic hearing aid designs come with new names that make it into patent titles. Conducting a patent database search on the term “hearing aid” misses many new entries called “instruments” and “devices.” And a new designation is gaining popularity:  “hearing assistance” systems or devices are the name of choice for five patents awarded in February:  

  1. Binaural hearing assistance system comprising a database of head related transfer functions (Oticon #9565502)
  2. Low profile offset spout for hearing assistance device (Starkey #9571948)
  3. Sound environment classification by coordinated sensing using hearing assistance devices (Starkey #9584930)
  4. Method and apparatus for localization of streaming sources in hearing assistance system (Starkey #9584933)
  5. Wireless environment interference diagnostic hearing assistance device system (#9584927)

 

The February Patent List

Description

Patent Number

Assignee

Issued

Binaural hearing assistance system comprising a database of head related transfer functions

9565502

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

2/07/2017

Binaural hearing aid system for compensation of microphone deviations based on the wearer’s own voice

9565499

Sivantos Pte.Ltd.(Singapore, SG)

2/07/2017

Hearing device and method of identifying hearing situations having different signal sources

9565501

Sivantos Pte.Ltd.(Singapore, SG)

2/07/2017

Atraumatic electrode lead

9561361

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

2/07/2017

Bracket for a sound processor and a coil

D778447

Cochlear Ltd. (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

2/07/2017

Apparatus and method for canceling feedback in hearing aid

9565500

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

2/07/2017

Low profile offset spout for hearing assistance device

9571948

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

2/14/2017

Apparatus for determining cochlear dead region

9571949

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

2/14/2017

System and method for sharing network resources between hearing devices

9571940

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

2/14/2017

Hearing aid interconnection system

9571947

Oticon Medical A/S (Smorum, DK)

2/14/2017

Hearing aid and method for producing a hearing aid

9571944

Sivantos Pte.Ltd.(Singapore, SG)

2/14/2017

Hearing system and transmission method

9570089

Sivantos Pte.Ltd.(Singapore, SG)

2/14/2017

Hearing device with a transducer module and method for manufacturing a transducer module

9571943

Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)

2/14/2017

Tinnitus fitting method in CI and ABI patients

9566435

Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

2/14/2017

Electrical nerve stimulation based on channel specific sampling sequences

9566434

Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

2/14/2017

Testing tuned circuits

9571166

Cochlear Ltd. (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

2/14/2017

Focused stimulation in a medical stimulation device

9566433

Cochlear Ltd. (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

2/14/2017

Hearing device with closure mechanism

9571946

GN ReSound A/S (Ballerup, DK)

2/14/2017

Hearing device and a method of compensating a frequency difference between a transmitter and receiver

9571942

GN ReSound A/S (Ballerup, DK)

2/14/2017

Hearing aid having receiver

9571945

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

2/14/2017

Dynamic driver in hearing instrument

9571941

Knowles Electronics, LLC (Itasca, IL)

2/14/2017

Hearing aid positioning system and structure

9571939

IntriCon Corporation (Arden Hills, MN)

2/14/2017

Hearing Aid

9578430

GN ReSound A/S (Ballerup, DK)

2/21/2017

Hearing aid system and a microphone device

9578428

GN ReSound A/S (Ballerup, DK)

2/21/2017

Method for feedback cancelling in hearing devices and hearing device with a feedback canceller

9578426

Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)

2/21/2017

Support mount for electronic components

9578429

Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)

2/21/2017

Atraumatic modiolar hugging electrode

9572974

Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

2/21/2017

Hearing device and method for fitting hearing device

9584934

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

2/28/2017

Method for operating a hearing device and a hearing device

9584932

Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)

2/28/2017

Method and processing unit for adaptive wind noise suppression in a hearing aid system and a hearing aid system

9584929

Widex A/S (Lynge, DK)

2/28/2017

Sound environment classification by coordinated sensing using hearing assistance devices

9584930

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

2/28/2017

Method and apparatus for localization of streaming sources in hearing assistance system

9584933

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

2/28/2017

Wireless environment interference diagnostic hearing assistance device system

9584927

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

2/28/2017

Sound processing using a masking model

9579499

Cochlear Ltd. (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

2/28/2017

Implantable remote control

9579510

Cochlear Ltd. (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

2/28/2017

Electromechanical transducer with mechanical advantage

9584925

Cochlear Ltd. (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

2/28/2017

Middle ear implantable microphone

9584931

Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

2/28/2017

Transmission of a wind-reduced signal with reduced latency time

9584907

Sivantos Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)

2/28/2017

Method for automatic activation and deactivation of a binaural hearing system and binaural hearing system

9584914

Sivantos Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)

2/28/2017

 

images from USPTO and jalopnik

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