US Hearing Device Patents for April and May 2014

It’s patent time again, when Hearing Economics shares its exciting list of new patent approvals in the hearing aid world.  Or should we say hearing device world, or maybe just audio world?  The list gets longer each time and the applications wider.  Near field, in the traditional hearing aid sense, is evaporating as communications/software manufacturers such as AT&T and IBM patent far field solutions.

 Such patents use new language such as customer end point device, group interaction, audible utterance, conversation path, audio source data, and identified speaker.   Those terms are largely unfamiliar to Audiologists, at least in the US; ditto for “howling suppression,” which may conjure up slasher movies.  Less provincial types (Wayne Staab, not me)  know howling to be

 …an oscillation phenomenon caused by a sound loop in which a sound outputted from a speaker returns to a microphone. Once a sound loop is formed, a sinusoidal signal having a sharp peak is generated and a sound having a particular frequency continues to be amplified until the loop is cut.

In other words, howling is another word for feedback.   Was I the only one who didn’t know this?

Patents Approved in April and May 2014

DescriptionPatent NumberAssigneeIssued
Generating Representations of Group Interactions8655654International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY)2/18/2014
System and Method of Speech Discriminability Assessment, and Computer Program8655439Panasonic Corporation (Osaka, JP)2/18/2014
Modular Cochlear Implant Systems Including Implantable Sound Processors8655449Advanced Bionics AG (Zug, CH)2/18/2014
Method and Apparatus for a Finger Sensor for a Hearing Assistance Device8655000Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)2/18/2014
Piercing Conducted Bone Conduction Device8655002Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)2/18/2014
Method and Apparatus for Providing an Audio Signal for an Event8655262AT&T Intellectual Property I, L.P. (Atlanta, GA).2/18/2014
Implantable Universal Docking Station for Prosthetic Hearing Devices8657734Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)2/25/2014
Systems and Methods of Facilitating Manual Adjustment of One or More Cochlear Implant System Control Parameters8660657Advanced Bionics AG (Zug, CH)2/25/2014
Microphone Array Apparatus Having Hidden Microphone Placement and Acoustic Signal Processing Apparatus Including the Same8665305Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd. (Suwon-si, KR)3/04/2014
Precision Micro-Hole for Extended Life Batteries8666101InSound Medical, Inc. (Newark, CA)3/04/2014
Bluetooth Transmission Facility for Hearing Devices, and Corresponding Transmission Method8666314Siemens Audiologische Technik GmbH (Erlangen, Germany)3/04/2014
Hearing Aid for Hearing Aid and a Method for Alleviating Tinnitus Using a Notch Filter8666099Widex A/S (Lynge, DK)3/04/2014
Method for Processing a Multi-Channel Audio Signal for a Binaural Hearing Apparatus and a Corresponding Hearing Apparatus8666080Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)3/04/2014
Holder and Method for Shapinga Sound Tube8663529GN Resound A/S (Ballerup, Denmark)3/04/2014
Method and Arrangement for Training Hearing System Users8666084Phonak AG (Stafa, Switzerland)3/04/2014
Hearing System Comprising an Earpiece8712063Phonak AG (Stafa, Switzerland)3/04/2014
System and Method for Network Based Hearing Aid Compatible Mode Selection8670355AT&T Mobility II LLC (Atlanta)3/11/2014
N Band FM Demodulation to Aid Cochlear Hearing Impaired Persons8670582Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)3/11/2014
Hearing Device8670584Theodore F. Moran (Indianapolis IN)3/11/2014
Electrically insulative structure having holes for feedthroughs8672667Cochlear Limited (AU)3/18/2014
Howling Suppression Device, Hearing Aid, Howling Suppression Method, and Integrated Circuit8675901Panasonic Corporation (Osaka, JP)3/18/2014
Hearing Aid with Antenna for Reception and Transmission of Electromagnetic Signals8675902Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)3/18/2014
Hearing device with automatic clipping prevention and corresponding method8682013Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)3/25/2014
Hearing Prosthesis with Integrated Sensors for Measuring Pressure in a Cochlea8679031Cochlear Limited (AU)3/25/2014
Method for Switching a Hearing Device between Two Operating States and Hearing Device8682001Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)3/25/2014
Magnetostrictive Micro Loud Speaker8682009Siemens Audiologische Technik GmbH (Erlangen, Germany)3/25/2014
Entrainment Avoidance with an Auto Regressive Filter8681999Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)3/25/2014
Stimulus Timing for a Stimulating Medical Device8688222Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)4/01/2014
Method for Monitoring the Influence of Ambient Noise on Stochastic Gradient Algorithms during Identification of Linear Time-Invariant Systems”8687819Bernafon AG (Berne, Switzerland)4/01/2014
Method and System for Surveillance of a Wireless Connection in a Hearing Aid Fitting System8687817Widex A/S (Lynge, DK)4/01/2014
Hearing Aid System with Feedback Arrangement to Predict and Cancel Acoustic Feedback, Method and Use8687832Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)4/01/2014
Embedded RFID recorder in short-range wireless devices8686855Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)4/01/2014
Method of providing input parameters or information for the fitting process of hearing instruments or ear pieces for a hearing device8687833Phonak AG (Stafa, Switzerland)4/01/2014
Hearing Assistance System and Method8693715Phonak AG (Stafa, Switzerland)4/01/2014
Receiver tube, receiver and hearing aid instrument with a receiver tube8693718Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)4/08/2014
Method for compensating for an interference sound in a hearing apparatus, hearing apparatus, and method for adjusting a hearing apparatus8693717Siemens Medical Instruments Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)4/08/2014
Condenser Microphone8693712Goertek Inc. (Weifang, CN)4/08/2014
Methods and Systems for Fitting a Bilateral Cochlear Implant Patient Using a Single Sound Processor894112Advanced Bionics AG (Zug, CH)4/08/2014
Parametric Fitting of a Cochlear Implant8694113Cochlear Limited (AU)4/08/2014
Internet phone trainer8693639Cochlear Limited (AU)4/08/2014
System and Method for Controlling an Audio Feature of a Hearing Assistance Device8693714Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)4/08/2014
Adjustment and Cleaning Tool for a Hearing Assistance Device8693719Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)4/08/2014
Hearing Device with Analog Filtering and Associated Method8693716GN Resound A/S (Ballerup, DK)4/08/2014
Identification element for a Hearing Device Unit8699735Siemens Audiologische Technik GmbH (Erlangen, Germany)4/15/2014
External speech processor unit for an auditory prosthesis8700170Cochlear Limited (AU)4/15/2014
Dual Microphone EAS System That Prevents Feedback8699734Advanced Bionics AG (Zug, Switzerland)4/15/2014
Parallel Antennas for Standard Fit Hearing Assistance Devices8699733Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)4/15/2014
Hearing Aid8699736ExSilent Research B.V. (Amsterdam)4/15/2014
Hearing Aid Adapted for Embedded Electronics8705785Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)4/22/2014
Compression and mixing for hearing assistance devices8705751Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)4/22/2014
Wireless Beacon System to Identify Acoustic Environment for Hearing Assistance Devices8705782Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)4/22/2014
Optimal spatial filtering in the presence of wind in a hearing prosthesis8705781Cochlear Limited (AU)4/22/2014
Hearing Prosthesis with Accessory Detection8706245Cochlear Limited (AU)4/22/2014
Directional Sound Processing in a Cochlear Implant8706248Cochlear Limited (AU)4/22/2014
Light Powered Hearing Aid8712085Zounds Hearing Inc. (Tempe, Ariz.)4/29/2014
Method and Apparatus for Monitoring Wireless Communication in Hearing Assistance Systems8712083Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)4/29/2014
Real ear measurement system using thin tube8712081Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, Minn.)4/29/2014
Neurophysiological Central Auditory Processing Evaluation System and Method8712514Northwestern University (Evanston, Ill.)4/29/2014
Methods and Apparatus for Processing Audio Signals8712077Sonitus Medical inc. (San Mateo, Calif.)4/29/2014
Noise Spectrum Tracking in Noisy Acoustic Signals8712074Oticon A/S (Smorum, Denmark)4/29/2014
Wireless Updating of Hearing Devices8712082Phonak AG (Stafa, Switzerland)4/29/2014
Synchronization of sound generated in binaural hearing system8712063Phonak AG (Stafa, Switzerland)4/29/2014

 Editor’s note:  The Patent Series is updated every two months.  Click links for patents approved in Jan/Feb 2014, Nov/Dec 2013, September/October 2013, Jul/Aug 2013, May/Jun 2013, Mar/Apr 2013, Jan/Feb 2013, Nov/Dec 2012 feature photo courtesy of The Inferno Music Vault

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.