hearing industry patents december 2018

US Ear Device Patents in December 2018

Figure 1. Muzik Inc’s patent “Wireless earbuds and wearable charger and integrated speaker”

Ear devices, like other wearables, continue to track multifunctionality.  Two cases offer new opportunities for future add-on features and connectivity:

  • Muzik Inc.’s wireless earbuds (Fig 1, USPTO #D835602) are indeed wireless but that’s where their resemblance to earbuds-as-we-know-them ends. Intead, they use the head as shelf space for an onboard power supply and integrated speakers, with plenty of room left for more sensors and a command center. Fully loaded–and assuming they’re comfortable–you might never go bareheaded again in the future. 
  • Umo Neuroscience’s earable EEG headset (feature image above) also uses the head to advantage.  Its beautiful design would fit right into Tiffany’s Elsa Perretti collection, plus it offers plenty of real estate to park sensors, terminals, integrators, even an earbud or two. 

 

What’s on Deck? Who’s on Deck?

 

With all those sensors on a variety of devices, how does an integrator know what to send and receive from which devices in what order? What other devices share content with those in your ears? As you’d guess, these are questions addressed in many present patent projects. As examples in December:

  • IBM’s “Wearable device detection” patent #10149109
  • Xi’An Zhongxing New Software’s patent #10143422

Verifying who’s receiving what content, in whatever device and device order, remains an important trend. Ironclad Encryption’s new patent title says it all:  “User-wearable secured devices provided assuring authentication and validation of data storage and transmission” (USPTO #10154031). 

 

What Are You Doing?

Verification is always important when sending and receiving personal or financial information. But there are other reasons connected devices might want to be careful what they do with and to whom. Some reasons are not particularly intuitive, at least to Hearing Economics. The following have nothing to do with ears, hearing or listening, at least on their own. But they hold a certain curious charm and fascination, underscoring the over-riding importance of device instruction order as well as user verification when considering people walking around, locked and loaded with wearables:

  • #D834893: Wearable snack tray.  (remove before launching either of the next two items.) 
  • #10154695: Personal wearable airbag device for preventing injury.  (the patent’s images say it best)
  • #10161710: Weapons embedded in a wearable item. (“a firearm and a knife…concealable even if … not wearing clothes…instantly available and easily deployed…”). Let’s hope this one never finds its way into the ear!

 

The December 2018 List

 

Description

Patent Number

Assignee

Issued

Wireless communication method, wearable device, mobile terminal, and system

10143422

XI’An Zhongxing New Software Co, Ltd (Xi’An, Shaanxi, CN)

12/04/2018

Occlusion device capable of occluding an ear canal

10143592

Staton Techiya, LLC (Delray Beach, FL)

12/04/2018

Event listening integration in a collaborative electronic information system

10146394

Atlassian Pty Ltd (Sydney, AU)

12/04/2018

Volume adjustment for listening environment

10147439

Amazon Technologies, Inc. (Seattle, WA)

12/04/2018

User interfaces of a hearing device

10148809

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

12/04/2018

Ear cup venting mechanism for gaming headset

10149033

Performance Designed Products, LLC (Burbank, CA)

12/04/2018

Earbuds with detachable ear-wings

10149037

Applicant: Chen, Scott Zhihao (Irvine, CA)

12/04/2018

Audio listening arrangement

10149040

Zound Industries International AB (Stockholm, SE)

12/04/2018

Hearing prosthesis sound processing

10149068

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

12/04/2018

Configurable hearing system

10149069

Bernafon A/G (Bern, CH)

12/04/2018

Binaural cue preservation in a bilateral system

10149072

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

12/04/2018

Systems and methods for hearing assistance RF multi-band operation

10149073

Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

12/04/2018

Hearing assistance system

10149074

Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)

12/04/2018

Hearing aid configured to be operating in a communication system

10149075

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

12/04/2018

Hearing device with an optical identification

10149076

Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)

12/04/2018

Wearable device detection

10149109

International Business Machines Corporation (Armonk, NY)

12/04/2018

Wearable device and translation system

10152476

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

12/11/2018

User-wearable secured devices provided assuring authentication and validation of data storage and transmission

10154031

Ironclad Encryption Corporation (Houston, TX)

12/11/2018

Hearing device with communication protection and related method

10154059

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

12/11/2018

Power management for wireless earpieces utilizing sensor measurements

10154332

Bragi GmbH (Munchen, DE)

12/11/2018

Personalization of auditory stimulus

10154333

Nura Holdings Pty Ltd (Brunswick, Victoria, AU)

12/11/2018

Hearing aid communication system and hearing aid communication method thereof

10154351

Unlimiter MFA Co., Ltd (Eden Island, SC)

12/11/2018

Multifunction system and method for integrated hearing and communication with noise cancellation and feedback management

10154352

EarLens Corporation (Menlo Park, CA)

12/11/2018

Monaural speech intelligibility predictor unit, a hearing aid and a binaural hearing system

10154353

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

12/11/2018

Advanced artificial sound hearing training

10154354

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

12/11/2018

Hearing device with position data and method of operating a hearing device

10154355

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

12/11/2018

Process and architecture for remotely adjusting a hearing aid

10154356

Digital Tales S.R.L. (Milan, IT)

12/11/2018

Performance based in situ optimization of hearing aids

10154357

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

12/11/2018

Wireless earbuds and wearable charger and integrated speaker

D835602

Muzik Inc. (West Hollywood, CA)

12/11/2018

Ear wax removal device and methods thereof

10154927

Earways Medical Ltd (Rosh Ha’Ayin, Israel)

12/18/2018

Vehicle with wearable for identifying role of one or more users and adjustment of user settings

10155524

Bragi GmbH (Munchen, DE)

12/18/2018

Headphone

D836089

Bragi GmbH (Munchen, DE)

12/18/2018

Custom-molding in-ear headphone ear tips

10158933

Bose Corporation (Framingham, MA)

12/18/2018

Hearing device and method of updating a hearing device

10158953

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

12/11/2018

Template based custom ear insert virtual shaping method

10158954

Applicant: Pirzanski, Chester Zbigniew (Brampton, Canada)

12/18/2018

Rights management in a hearing device

10158955

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

12/18/2018

Method of fitting a hearing aid system, a hearing aid fitting system and a computerized device

10158956

Widex A/S (Lynge, DK)

12/18/2018

Implantable stimulating assembly arrangements

10159831

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

12/25/2018

Headphones with combined ear-cup and ear-bud

10165345

Nura Holdings Pty Ltd (Brunswick, Victoria, AU)

12/25/2018

Earpiece with app environment

10165350

Bragi GmbH (Munchen, DE)

12/25/2018

Sound system for tinnitus relief

10165372

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

12/25/2018

Hearing device comprising a beamformer filtering unit

10165373

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

12/25/2018

Prosthesis state and feedback path based parameter management

10165374

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

12/25/2018

Listening device with automatic mode change capabilities

10165375

III Holdings 4, LLC (Wilmington, DE)

12/25/2018

Non-contact antenna feed

10165376

Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

12/25/2018

Hearing device

10165377

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

12/25/2018

 

Editor’s note:  Interested readers can click the following links for patents approved in November 2018October 2018September 2018August 2018July 2018June 2018May 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.



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