Ear Device Patents in June 2019

This month’s patent crop once again drives home the impression that hearing aids are only one version of innovative tinkering around the ear. Consider GN Hearing’s interesting patent #10327071, intriguingly entitled “Head-wearable hearing device.”

Consider that title: where else but the head would a hearing device go? And why device instead of hearing aid? 

 

Words Matter

 

GN is in step with a growing trend to refer to things in the ear as devices rather than hearing aids (see image below).  Hearing Economics itself switched “device” for “hearing aid” a few years back when it became evident that the patents were using the ear space for a variety of multi-tasking application, only one being to amplify sound for persons with hearing loss.  

This is not symantic silliness or a woke response1 in the tech industry. It’s a recognition of expanding functionality and technological opportunity that has been a long time in coming.

Marjorie Skafte, the venerated editor of Hearing Instruments and then Hearing Review, went on the stump almost 40 years ago to advocate adoption of “hearing instrument” instead of hearing aid. By changing our words, she reasoned that we would change our thinking and could influence the market as to what was possible with devices at the ear. 

It is a pleasure to see Marge’s vision begin to manifest in the technology sector all these years later. It will be interesting to see how the evolving vision plays out at retail and in healthcare regulation in coming years.

 

Description

Patent Number

Assignee

Issued

Pyrazolopyridazines and methods for treating retinal-degenerative diseases and hearing loss associated with usher syndrome

10307422

Usher III Initiative Inc. (Chicago, IL)

6/04/2019

Methods and systems for neural stimulation via visual, auditory and peripheral nerve stimulations

10307611

Cognito Therapeutics Inc. (Newton, MA)

6/04/2019

Methods for generating the inner ear and other cranial placode-derived tissues using pluripotent stem cells

10308911

Indiana University Research & Technology Corporation (Indianapolis, IN)

6/04/2019

Portable listening device system

10313775

Apple Inc. (Cupertino, CA)

6/04/2019

Audio accelerometric feedback through bilateral ear worn device system and method

10313781

Bragi GmbH (Munchen, DE)

6/04/2019

Wearable device charger

D850365

Bragi GmbH (Munchen, DE)

6/04/2019

Hearing device and monitoring system thereof

10313802

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

6/04/2019

Method for suppressing feedback in a hearing instrument and hearing instrument

10313803

Sivantos Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)

6/04/2019

Hearing device and a method of selecting an optimal transceiver channel in a wireless network

10313804

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

6/04/2019

Binaurally coordinated frequency translation in hearing assistance devices

10313805

Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

6/04/2019

Hearing system, devices and method of securing communication for a user application

10313806

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

6/04/2019

Hearing device including antenna unit

10313807

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

6/04/2019

Image and audio based characterization of a human auditory system for personalized audio reproduction

10313822

EmbodyVR Inc. (San Mateo, CA)

6/04/2019

Wearable electronic device that corrects errors where a user hears binaural sound

10313823

Applicants: Lyren, Philip Scott (Bangkok, TH) & Norris, Glen A (Tokyo, JP)

6/04/2019

Ear hook

D850417

Shenzhen Ginto E-commerce Co. Ltd. (Shenzhen, CN)

6/04/2019

Wearable microphone

D850422

Point Source Audio Inc. (Petaluma, CA)

6/04/2019

Hearing device with communication logging and related method

10318720

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

6/11/2019

Hearing aid and hearing-aid charging system

10320211

Nitto Denko Corporation (Ibaraki-shi, JP)

6/11/2019

Ear device for fixing earphone

10321218

Applicant: Lee, Seung Chul (Seo-gu Daegu, KR)

6/11/2019

Automated scanning for hearing aid parameters

10321242

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

6/11/2019

Hearing device comprising a filterbank and an onset detector

10321243

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

6/11/2019

Hearing assistance device eavesdropping on a bluetooth data stream

10321244

Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

6/11/2019

Adjustable elliptical polarization phasing and amplitude weighting for a hearing instrument

10321245

Starkey Laboratories Inc. (Eden Prairie, MN)

6/11/2019

Hearing instrument with power supply unit, and power supply unit for a hearing instrument

10321246

Sivantos Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)

6/11/2019

External component with inductance and mechanical vibratory functionality

10321247

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, AU)

6/11/2019

Hearing device shell with guide structure

10321248

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

6/11/2019

Method and apparatus for controlling a hearing instrument to relieve tinitus, hyperacusis, and hearing loss

10321249

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

6/11/2019

System and application for auditory guidance and signaling

10322671

GM Global Technology Operations LLC (Detroit, MI)

6/18/2019

Head-wearable hearing device

10327071

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

6/18/2019

Hearing aid comprising a directional microphone system

10327078

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

6/18/2019

Hearing aid device with integrated antenna

10327079

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

6/18/2019

Method of manufacturing hearing devices

10327080

Sonova AG (Staefa, CH)

6/18/2019

Wearable audio component

D851625

Harman International Industries Inc. (Northridge, CA)

6/18/2019

Hearing aid

D851770

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

6/18/2019

Hearing protection headset

D851839

Tasco Corporation (Riverside, RI)

6/18/2019

Detecting neuronal action potentials using a sparse signal representation

10327654

MED-EL Elektromedizinische Geraete GmbH (Innsbruck, AT)

6/25/2019

Notification and activation system utilizing onboard sensors of wireless earpieces

10334345

Bragi GmbH (Munchen, DE)

6/25/2019

Real-time multivariable biometric analysis and display system and method

10334346

Bragi GmbH (Munchen, DE)

6/25/2019

Controlling ear stimulation in response to image analysis

10327984

Elwha LLC (Bellevue, WA)

6/25/2019

Microphone for a hearing aid

10334356

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

6/25/2019

Signal processor for a hearing device and method for operating a hearing device

10334369

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

6/25/2019

Method for feedback suppression

10334371

Sivantos Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)

6/25/2019

Hearing device including an external antenna part and an internal antenna part

10334373

Oticon A/S (Smorum, DK)

6/25/2019

Prosthetic adapter

10334374

Cochlear Limited (Macquarie University, AU)

6/25/2019

Standard attachment for a standard earpiece and standard earpiece

10334375

Sivantos Pte. Ltd. (Singapore, SG)

6/25/2019

Hearing system with user-specific programming

10334376

KOJ Institut fuer Gehoertherapie AG (Zurich, CH)

6/25/2019

Hearing Aid

D852363

GN Hearing A/S (Ballerup, DK)

6/25/2019

Footnotes

1Talk about symantic sillness.

 

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.

 

**featured image via Sivantos, Patent #10321246



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