hearing aid air guitar patents

US Ear Device Patents in June 2018

The patent list continues to lean in on ear devices that use the ear as a conveyor belt for things far beyond what audiologists used to think of as hearing “better.” They raise Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) questions about what “better” may mean as technology continues to unfolds. The following are June’s examples of running the “better” gauntlet.

 

Please Control Your Air Guitar

 

Intel Corporation’s patent #9996162 sounds like something out of a Harry Potter book. It casts a “personal magnetic field” around the wearer, which not only follows the wearer around but “overpower(s) adjacent interfering fields” in its path.  Ominous as that sounds, the principal proposed application is charming: specific gestures are identified to produce musical elements through a speaker, while allowing the gesturer a high degree of personal freedom in performing the gesture to achieve tone, pitch, tempo, etc effects.

“Thus a user may perform a musical score without necessarily having an instrument, and may seem to generate music “out of thin air.”

Event marketers are probably already contemplating karaoke/air guitar competitions.  But hearing healthcare may be thinking of personal and automatic aural translation of sign language.

 

Please Control Your House and Devices

 

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=10002523.PN.&OS=PN/10002523&RS=PN/10002523
Fig 1. Google house hazard alarm system

Google knows what goes on in our houses and it worries. Hence, its patent #10002523 identifies possible home dangers and sends us audible “pre-alarm speech(es)…that warn of a developing hazardous condition.” (see Fig 1).

Well! Who among us is not already annoyed by alarms, bells and whistles emanating from the phones of others in public places? Who among us isn’t already in a permanent hyper-vigilant state from random phone pings? Are we eager to add speaker-born warnings of”pre-alarm”conditions from every room in everyone’s houses to our already-crowded auditory milieu? Then again, we do want to know if things are amiss in our own homes. 

EarLens is on it in their patent #10003877, with

“devices and systems [that] have an advantage of providing sound to user from the audio signal … without creating sound that can be perceived by others.” 

Besides considering the comfort of others, the EarLens contribution will afford us some privacy at least, if not peace and quiet.

 

Please Control Your Neuronal Enthusiasm

 

Fig 2. Neural stimulation patent 9987191

Patent #9987191 from University of Cologne aims to desynchronize pathologically synchronized firing of neuronal populations by resetting the phase of activity in selected neuronal sub-populations. The reason for doing so is to interrupt brain diseases characterized by “excessively strong neuronal activity in a number of neurological and psychiatric diseases… [which]… have a very strong negative influence on the cerebral function.”

The inventors focus on tinnitus as a disease of this type. Their device (Fig 2) delivers multi-frequency auditory signals as desychronizing stimuli. Presumably box 11 in Fig 2 can take many forms, including an in the ear device.

 

Enough About Ears, Time for Summer Relaxation

Fig 3. Feeding the hummers patent #D819895

 

When your tinnitus and constantly-pinging phone get you down, when your personal magnetic air guitar cloak has worn you out, it’s time to lie down on that lounge chair by the pool and take a nap. Don’t forget to don your wearable hummingbird feeder before drifting off.  

 

The June List

 

Description

Patent Number

Assignee

Issued

Device and method for auditory stimulation

9987191

Forschungszentrum Juelich GmbH (Juelich, DE)

6/05/2018

Controlling ear stimulation in response to electrical contact sensing

9987489

Elwha LLC (Bellevue WA)

6/05/2018

Audio signal encoding and decoding based on human auditory perception eigenfunction model in Hilbert space

9990930

NRI R&D Patent Licensing, LLC (San Antonio, TX)

6/05/2018

Method of operating a hearing aid system and a hearing aid system

9992582

Widex A/S (Lynge, DK)

6/05/2018

Hearing aid system and a method of operating a hearing aid system

9992583

Widex A/S (Lynge, DK)

6/05/2018

Hearing assistance system incorporating directional microphone customization

9992585

Starkey Laboratories, Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

6/05/2018

Method of optimizing parameters in a hearing aid system and a hearing aid system

9992586

Widex A/S (Lynge, DK)

6/05/2018

Binaural hearing system configured to localize a sound source

9992587

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

6/05/2018

ITE hearing aid and method of manufacturing the same

9992589

Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)

6/05/2018

Ear model unit, artificial head, and measurement device and method using said ear model unit and artificial head

9992594

Kyocera Corp (Kyoto, JP)

6/05/2018

Ear cleaning device

9993591

Nupur Technologies, LLC (Buffalo, NY)

6/12/2018

Collision avoidance using auditory data

9996080

Ford Global Technologies, LLC (Dearborn, MI)

6/12/2018

Wearable sensor system for providing a personal magnetic field and techniques for horizontal localization utilizing the same

9996162

Intel Corporation (Santa Clara, CA)

6/12/2018

Middle ear transducer with biocompatible implantable adhesive pad

9998838

Med-El Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

6/12/2018

Visual and auditory user notification methods for smart-home hazard detector

10002523

Google LLC (Mountain View, CA)

6/19/2018

Portable, wearable radio

10003369

Motorola Solutions, Inc. (Chicago, IL)

6/19/2018

Contact hearing system with wearable communication apparatus

10003877

EarLens Corporation (Menlo Park, CA)

6/19/2018

In-the-ear earphone, its variations and methods of wearing the earphone

10003878

Applicant: Ushakov, Alexey Leonidovich (Moscow, RU)

6/19/2018

Power management system for a hearing aid

10003891

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

6/19/2018

Systems and methods for altering the input dynamic range of an auditory device

10003892

Cisco Technology, Inc. (San Jose, CA)

6/19/2018

Method for operating a binaural hearing system and binaural hearing system

10003893

Sivantos PTE, Ltd. (Singapore, SG)

6/19/2018

Hearing device interface

10003897

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

6/19/2018

Wearable defibrillator with audio input/output

10004893

Zoll Medical Corporation (Chelmsford, MA)

6/26/2018

Hearing system for estimating a feedback path of a hearing device

10009695

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

6/26/2018

Cochlear hearing device with cable antenna

10009696

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

6/26/2018

Hearing device including antenna unit

10009697

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

6/26/2018

Bone conduction device having magnets integrated with housing

10009848

Cochlear Ltd (Macquarie University, AU)

6/26/2018

Ear protection device

D821566

DiPiazza, Concetta (Brooksville, FL)

6/26/2018

Ear defender

D821653

JSP Limited (Oxford,d GB)

6/26/2018

Editor’s note:  Interested readers can click the following links for patents approved in May 2018April 2018Q1 2018Nov/Dec 2017October 2017September 2017August 2017June/July 2017May 2017April 2017March 2017February 2017January 2017December 2016November 2016,  October 2016Sept 2016,  Jul/Aug 2016,  May/Jun 2016Mar/Apr 2016Jan/Feb 2016,  Nov/Dec 2015Sept/Oct 2015,  Jul/Aug 2015May/Jun 2015,  Mar/Apr 2015Jan/Feb 2015,  Nov/Dec 2014,  Sep/Oct 2014,  July/Aug 2014,  May/Jun 2014,  Mar/Apr 2014,  Jan/Feb 2014Nov/Dec 2013September/October 2013Jul/Aug 2013May/Jun 2013Mar/Apr 2013Jan/Feb 2013Nov/Dec 2012

 

Holly Hosford-Dunn, Hearing Health MattersHolly Hosford-Dunn, PhD, owned and operated a dispensing audiology practice in Tucson and was active in management of HearingHealthMatters.org through 2017.  She holds BA degrees in Communication Sciences, Psychology and Economics; MA in Communication Disorders; PhD in Hearing Sciences. Following post-doctoral work at Max Planck Institute (Munich, DE) and Eaton-Peabody Auditory Physiology Lab (Boston), she joined the Stanford medical school faculty as director of audiology. She has authored/edited numerous text books, chapters, journals, and articles and taught Marketing and Practice Management in a variety of academic settings. She continues to consult and write on topics related to hearing health care vis-à-vis consumer demands, professional training, technological advancement, capital investment, industry consolidation, regulatory control, product and service distribution, and strategic pricing.

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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