US Hearing Device Patents May-June 2016

“Space is a scarce resource in a hearing aid.” That simple but powerful observation heralds the purpose of Oticon’s US patent #9338569 (Portable Electronic Device Comprising a Folded Substrate), shown in the title image. That purpose is to cram as much amplification technology as possible into the smallest space. Oticon’s next patented step is to use…

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IntriCon + HI HealthInnovation: How’s That Workin’ Out?

Are IntriCon (IIN:US) and Hi HealthInnovations still in love? The Brangelina of Audiology is rarely heard from nowadays, after almost two years together.  Hearing Economics’ interest was piqued last week when IntriCon quietly notified the SEC (US SEC Form 8-K Current Report, June 12 2013) of planned lay-offs and global strategic restructuring. The Backstory IntriCon jumped on our screen last year…

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Hearing Aid Prices — Going Up? Going Down?

The average Price of hearing aids began rising faster than inflation in 1994 when the first truly differentiated product entered the market.  In contrast, Price  kept pace with inflation for traditional instruments, which tumbled into a new niche of “low end” products (see title figure). What does this mean? More Economic Stuff (what you’ve been…

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Intricon part 3: What Does Intricon Make, Anyway?

This short series has described a tiny company that stayed small and became profitable by specializing in developing and making tiny things for a tiny group of giant customers.  It did this by becoming a “manufacturing OEM”{{1}}[[1]]Original Equipment Manufacturer, as defined in post 2 in this series.[[1]] to several industries, including hearing/audio industries. At this…

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Back to the Future, part VII: How Big is HUGE?

Editor’s note:  This series follows predictions by Lars Kolind[1] in the 1990s.   Predictions to date have addressed Audiologists as Retailers,Vanishing Practitioner Autonomy, Internet Dispensing, Consumer Expectations, Vertical Distribution, Technological Dominance, Dispensers and Audiologists as Bedfellows, Ruthless Demand Curves, and Verification and Validation by regulation. Today’s post considers factors affecting market expansion. Lars Kolind’s Prediction #VII. There will be huge market growth. Hearing…

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