The International Electro-technical Commission (IEC) announced on March 13 that it has appointed Thomas Kaufmann, Founder and CEO of OTOjOY, to serve as a subject matter expert in working group on hearing loop systems. The committee, now comprised of 9 members, develops and publishes international performance and testing standards related to hearing aids, audiometric equipment, sound level meters, and assistive listening equipment.
According to a press release, Kaufmann has been working and innovating in the field of audio frequency induction loop systems since 2012. OTOjOY was one of the founding partners of the Loop California non-profit public awareness campaign, for which the company was honored with the 2013 Santa Barbara Mayor’s Award for Outstanding Effort. OTOjOY received a 2018 CES Innovation Award, a 2018 Edison Award, and a nomination for a 2018 Global Mobile Award. Kaufmann was also named a finalist for a 2017 Arizona TechTalent Award. Kaufmann holds a German diploma degree in Physics and graduated from UCSB with a Master of Science degree in Chemistry. He is the founder and CEO of OTOjOY.
The hearing loop working group of IEC had no formal U.S. representation until the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the Acoustical Society of America (ASA) nominated Kaufmann earlier this year. In the United States, adoption of hearing loop technology has been increasing rapidly, thanks to grass-roots advocacy groups and support from the Hearing Loss Association of America (HLAA).
“I’m honored to be given the opportunity to contribute to the future of this technology that can transform the lives of the more than 900 million people globally who are expected to have disabling hearing loss by 2050,” Kaufmann said. “The IEC 60118-4 standard plays a critical role in ensuring that hearing loop systems worldwide perform optimally and provide the best possible listening experience for the user.”
OTOjOY is the manufacturer and distributor of LoopBuds. An audio system that allows anyone with a smartphone to stream the sound from a hearing loop assistive listening system directly to their own devices. LoopBuds can be used to listen to music, make phone calls, or pick up the sound from any hearing loop system worldwide and can be purchased directly from OTOjOY.