US Ear Device Patents in February 2019

Talk to the Hand Puppet

 

Patent #10200773 envisions a simple but clever fix for a vexing noise problem common to all handsfree phone communicators, especially those with hearing loss and hearing aids. When you speak on a call, the phone’s mic picks up your voice along with all other environmental noise competition. The phone call recipient may or may not hear your voice over the noise, depending on how many sirens are going by, whether you’re running a faucet, if the car’s a/c is blasting away … whatever.

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=10200773.PN.&OS=PN/10200773&RS=PN/10200773
Fig 1. Wired-up index finger from patent #10200773.

And, of course, it depends how far your mouth is from the pick-up mic. Clip-on mics in various guises can address this issue and enable more Truly Hands Free talking while multitasking, although mic clipping has its own annoyances.

Mics in Hearables of all types are closer to your mouth which can give speech the advantage over noise, especially if noise reduction algorithms are involved. But noise will win if it’s loud and/or close enough.  We know this because in the old days we cupped hands over phone receivers and even today we get close and cup hand over ear to hear what someone is saying in noise.

It’s reflexive, so why not take advantage of what comes naturally? That’s the thinking of this patent which doesn’t quite achieve handsfree but whittles it down to one suited-up index finger (Fig 1) as follows:

“… a mobile communication device configured to be worn on an index finger of a user’s hand. The device includes a case, a microphone, a switch, and a power source. The microphone and the switch are strategically located along a shape of the case so that as worn on the user’s index finger and when the switch is activated by the thumb of the user’s hand, the hand naturally cups about the microphone to form a barrier to ambient noise. Further, the microphone can readily be located near a corner of the user’s mouth for optimal speech-receiving conditions.”

 

The February 2019 List

 

Description

Patent Number

Assignee

Issued

Perception change-based adjustments in hearing prostheses

10194814

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

2/05/2019

Systems and methods for non-obtrusive adjustment of auditory prostheses

10195432

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

2/05/2019

Implantable hearing assistance apparatus and corresponding systems and methods

10195444

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

2/05/2019

Individualized rehabilitation training of a hearing prosthesis recipient

10198964

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

2/05/2019

Speech enhancement for headsets with in-ear microphones

10199029

MediaTek Inc. (Hsinchu, TW)

2/05/2019

Battery assembly for a hearing device

10199618

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

2/05/2019

Finger-wearable mobile communication device

10200773

Applicant: Carroll, David W (Grantsburg, WI)

2/05/2019

Headphone off-ear detection

10200776

Avnera Corp (Beaverton, OR)

2/05/2019

Method of operating a hearing system for conducting telephone calls and a corresponding hearing system

10200795

Sonova AG (Stafa, CH)

2/05/2019

Hearing device comprising a feedback cancellation system based on signal energy relocation

10200796

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK) & Bernafon AG (Berne, CH)

2/05/2019

Microphone inlet for hearing aid

10200797

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

2/05/2019

Cochlear implant headpiece

10200798

Advanced Bionics AG (Staefa, CH)

2/05/2019

Hearing device with sealed microphone opening

10200799

Sivantos Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)

2/05/2019

In ear wireless headset

D839849

Shenzhen Grandsun Electronic Co. Ltd. (Shenzhen, Guangdong, CN)

2/05/2019

Wearable disease prevention device

10201202

No Touch LLC (St Paul, MN)

2/12/2019

System for inner ear drug delivery via trans-round window membrane injection 

10201455

The Charles Stark Draper Laboratory Inc. (Cambridge, MA)

2/12/2019

Solubilized compositions for controlled proliferation of stem cells / generating inner ear hair cells using GSK3 inhibitors: I

10201540

Frequency Therapeutics Inc. (Woburn, MA)

2/12/2019

Digital communications in an implantable system

10201704

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

2/12/2019

Noise reduction methodology for wearable devices employing multitude of sensors

10204637

Applicant: Forte, Stephen P (Beverly Hills, CA)

2/12/2019

Remotely controlling a hearing device

10206024

Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)

2/12/2019

In-ear active noise reduction earphone

10206033

Bose Corporation (Framingham, MA)

2/12/2019

Sound transducer for insertion in an ear

10206045

Vibrosonic GmbH (Mannheim, DE)

2/12/2019

Hearing device comprising a feedback detector

10206048

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

2/12/2019

Hearing aid having a classifier

10206049

Widex A/S (Lynge, DK

2/12/2019

Audio assist system for pairing between a hearing aid and audio system

10206050

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

2/12/2019

Occlusion control system for a hearing instrument and a hearing instrument

10206051

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

2/12/2019

Ear instrument to which various instruments and accessories can be fixed

10206491

Applicant: Lee, Seung Chul (Daegu, KR)

2/19/2019

Epidermal down-growth barrier

10206820

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

2/19/2019

Wireless communication in an implantable medical device system

10207117

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

2/19/2019

Acoustic device

10212503

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

2/19/2019

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

10212523

Widex A/S (Lynge, DK

2/19/2019

Waterproof molded membrane for microphone

10212524

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

2/19/2019

Low power intermittent messaging for hearing assistance devices

10212682

Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

2/19/2019

User interface and method to discover hearing sensitivity of user on smart phone

10213138

Bitwave PTE LTD (Singapore, SG)

2/26/2019

Active unipolar dry electrode open ear wireless headset and brain computer interface

10213157

Bose Corporation (Framingham, MA)

2/26/2019

Method of treating ear pain

10213380

Try This First Inc. (Walnut Creek, CA)

2/26/2019

Electrode lead that avoids electrode array migration from the cochlea

10213597

MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

2/26/2019

Wearable device, system and method for name recollection

10217465

Sony Corporation (Tokyo, JP)

2/26/2019

In-ear wireless device with bone conduction mic communication

10219063

Acouva Inc. (San Francisco, CA)

2/26/2019

Tri-micro low frequency filter tri-ear bud tips and horn boost with ratchet ear bud lock

10219064

Acouva Inc. (San Francisco, CA)

2/26/2019

Configuration of hearing prosthesis sound processor based on control signal characterization of audio

10219081

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, NSW, AU)

2/26/2019

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

10219082

Widex A/S (Lynge, DK)

2/26/2019

Method of localizing a sound source, a hearing device, and a hearing system

10219083

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

2/26/2019

Antenna unit

10219085

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

2/26/2019

Mobile wireless controller for a hearing aid

10219086

AN Direct BV (Rotterdam, NL)

2/26/2019

Hearing aid that can be introduced into the auditory canal and hearing aid system

10219087

Eberhard Karls Universität Tubingen Medizinische Fakultat (Tubingen, DE)

2/26/2019

Photoactive self-cleaning hearing assistance device

10219088

Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

2/26/2019

Hearing loss compensation apparatus and method using 3D equal loudness contour

10219089

Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Suwon-si, KR)

2/26/2019

 

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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HHTM's mission is to bridge the knowledge gaps in treating hearing loss by providing timely information and lively insights to anyone who cares about hearing loss. Our contributors and readers are drawn from many sectors of the hearing field, including practitioners, researchers, manufacturers, educators, and, importantly, hearing-impaired consumers and those who love them.

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