http://patft.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO1&Sect2=HITOFF&d=PALL&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsrchnum.htm&r=1&f=G&l=50&s1=9724241.PN.&OS=PN/9724241&RS=PN/9724241

US Hearing Device Patents for August 2017

When it comes to imagining hearing devices in the patent world, the range is broad, both in terms of goals and body regions.

It’s a Simple Ear-Thing 

 

“Simplified Hearing Aid” is the title of USPTO patent #9,724,241 by Japanese inventor/owner Ogura.  The device (see feature image), which hearkens back to ear trumpets and the “Ear Resonator” (USPTO patent #4556122) is configured to function without an electrical power supply.

Instead, it relies on a “sound collector having such a shape [which] offers an improved sound collection effect.”  With a  nod to Zwislocki, the design inserts “…into the external auditory meatus, the edge of the insertion end reaches the vicinity of the osseous portion of external auditory meatus. …allow[ing] the user to utilize the bone condition and clearly hear a sound even if it is small.”

 

It’s a Complicated Brain-Thing  

 

Oticon’s USPTO #9743197 departs the ear and journeys into the brain, aiming to enhance suppression of “non-wanted auditory percepts”  in working memory by selectively increasing alpha wave activity. Hearing aids of this type are multi-taskers, delivering amplification and neural entrainment in a single package.

The rationale states that “Understanding speech in real world situations, require the involvement of the working memory, which has been linked to alpha activity. … age-related decline in alpha activity together with individual differences might result in subjects being unable to generate enough alpha activity to successfully suppress irrelevant information and thereby overcome difficult listening situations.”

 

It’s a T-Shirt Thing

 

http://pdfpiw.uspto.gov/.piw?PageNum=1&docid=09723403&IDKey=2F9937D40209&HomeUrl=http%3A%2F%2Fpatft.uspto.gov%2Fnetacgi%2Fnph-Parser%3FSect1%3DPTO1%2526Sect2%3DHITOFF%2526d%3DPALL%2526p%3D1%2526u%3D%25252Fnetahtml%25252FPTO%25252Fsrchnum.htm%2526r%3D1%02
Figure 1. A wearable hearable design in USPTO #9723403

For those on the go and in the milieu, with or without hearing loss, USPTO #9723403 is a Hearable/Wearable attached to the shoulders and sewn into the seams of a garment (Fig 1).  Whether the t-shirt is washable or dry-clean only is not specified, but the device design is as follows:

“…a bidirectional microphone system that can be incorporated into a wearable garment, calibrate directionality and time delay at an individual microphone level, and process a high definition digital audio output of a user’s voice in high ambient noise environments.”

 

The List

Description

Patent Number

Assignee

Issued

Auditory sensitivity adjustment device

9717632

Kumagawa, Yosuke (Kanagawa, JP)

8/01/2017

Hearing and speech impaired electronic device control

9721481

Shovkoplias, Yuri (Kharkiv, UA)

8/01/2017

Antenna unit

9722306

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

8/01/2017

Wearable directional microphone array apparatus and system

9723403

Wave Sciences, LLC (Charleston, SC)

8/01/2017

Multi-microphone method for estimation of target and noise spectral variances for speech degraded by reverberation and optionally additive noise

9723422

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

8/01/2017

Binaural hearing aid system with feedback suppression

9723413

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

8/01/2017

Method for signal processing in a binaural hearing device and binaural hearing device

9723414

Sivantos Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)

8/01/2017

Performance based in situ optimization of hearing aids

9723415

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

8/01/2017

Hearing assistance devices and user interfaces for use with same

9723416

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

8/01/2017

Headpieces and implantable cochlear stimulation systems including the same

9717918

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

8/01/2017

Systems and methods for facilitating post-implant acoustic-only operation of an electro-acoustic stimulation (“EAS”) sound processor

9717909

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

8/01/2017

Systems and methods for detecting a compliance state of a current source included in a cochlear implant

9717908

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

8/01/2017

Radio frequency (“RF”) power level management systems and methods for use in a cochlear implant system

9717907

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

8/01/2017

Systems and methods for measuring a current output by a current generation circuit included in a cochlear implant

9717906

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

8/01/2017

Backup sound processor with multi-user functionality

9717905

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

8/01/2017

Simplified hearing aid

9724241

Ogura, Moritakai (Kanagawa, JP)

8/08/2017

Wearable earbuds having a reduced tip dimension

9729953

Logitech Europe S.A. (Lausanne, CH)

8/08/2017

Acoustic feedback event monitoring system for hearing assistance devices

9729976

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

8/08/2017

Method for operating a hearing device capable of active occlusion control and a hearing device with user adjustable active occlusion control

9729977

Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)

8/08/2017

Antenna system for a hearing aid

9729979

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

8/08/2017

Hearing aid fitting device, hearing aid, and hearing aid fitting method

9729982

Panasonic Intellectual Property Management Co., Ltd. (Osaka, JP)

8/08/2017

Hearing device with model control and associated methods

9729983

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

8/08/2017

Power and data transfer in hearing prostheses

9724525

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

8/08/2017

Malleable implantable medical device 

9731128

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

8/15/2017

Magnetic stimulation in tissue-stimulating prostheses

9731142

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

8/15/2017

Deep electrode insertion fitting in cochlear implant patients with residual hearing

9731129

Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

8/15/2017

Audio processing compression system using level-dependent channels

9736583

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

8/15/2017

Method for evaluating a useful signal and audio device

9736599

Sivantos Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)

8/15/2017

Audio control using auditory event detection

9742372

Dolby Laboratories Licensing Corp (San Francisco, CA)

8/22/2017

Method, device and system for increasing a person’s ability to suppress non-wanted auditory percepts

9743197

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

8/22/2017

Systems and methods for hearing assistance device antenna

9743198

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

8/22/2017

Parallel antennas for standard fit hearing assistance devices

9743199

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

8/22/2017

Implantable stimulating assembly arrangements

9744346

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

8/29/2017

Automatic determination of the threshold of an evoked neural response

9744356

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

8/29/2017

Optimizing operational control of a hearing prosthesis

9744357

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

8/29/2017

System and method for neural cochlea stimulation

9744358

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

8/29/2017

Wireless audio signal monitor output for hearing implant system

9744355

Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

8/29/2017

General purpose device to assist the hard of hearing

9747814

International Business Machines Corp (Armonk NY)

8/29/2017

Hearing device with low-energy warning

9749753

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

8/29/2017

Hearing aids with adaptive beamformer responsive to off-axis speech

9749754

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

8/29/2017

Hearing device with sound source localization and related method

9749755

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

8/29/2017

Methods and apparatuses for setting a hearing aid to an omnidirectional microphone mode or a directional microphone mode

9749756

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

8/29/2017

Binaural hearing system and method

9749757

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

8/29/2017

Sound tube for an earpiece, sound tube arrangement, earpiece with such a sound tube or sound tube arrangement and hearing device with such an earpiece

9749759

Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)

8/29/2017

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About Holly Hosford-Dunn

Holly Hosford-Dunn, PhD, graduated with a BA and MA in Communication Disorders from New Mexico State, completed a PhD in Hearing Sciences at Stanford, and did post-docs at Max Planck Institute (Germany) and Eaton-Peabody Auditory Physiology Lab (Boston). Post-education, she directed the Stanford University Audiology Clinic; developed multi-office private practices in Arizona; authored/edited numerous text books, chapters, journals, and articles; and taught Marketing, Practice Management, Hearing Science, Auditory Electrophysiology, and Amplification in a variety of academic settings.

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