Phonak aims to release a new hearing aid using lithium-ion rechargeable batteries and employing more advanced sound analysing software generating clearer sounds and making listening and comprehension far more enjoyable for users.
It is a device designed using the science of the ear, which is vital for the perception of sounds and also for balance. Particularly in relation to age, effects to the inner, middle or outer ear all have consequences on the nature of the sound received by the ear and ultimately the brain. Different parts of the ear have different functions, the auricle is important for sound localisation and the inner ear transduces sound waves into electrical signals for the brain to decode. When these mechanisms are irregular a hearing aid may be essential. Hearing conditions result from deterioration to either the outer or middle ear in conductive hearing conditions or to the inner ear in sensorineural hearing conditions. To support those with these conditions many types of hearing aids exist, ranging from those which fit inside the ear canal, to ones which sit on the outside of the auricle. These hearing aid technologies are steadily improving over time, however; improvements are still needed.
Appreciating this, Phonak a hearing aid technology and wireless communication organisation aims to launch a new next generation hearing aid Platform, Belong. Utilising the Palio 3 technology, the new Audeo B receiver in canal (RIC) products and the new pioneering lithium ion rechargeable battery technology hearing aid; Audeo B-R are set to be released in Europe in September 2016. This technology aims is designed to empower individuals with hearing conditions to keep up an active lifestyle, making life with friends and family more harmonious in the process. “Consumers are becoming increasingly active and require hearing solutions which automatically keep up with their lifestyles. Audeo B-R is evidence of the clear commitment to pioneer life changing innovative hearing solutions in the marketplace. This ground-breaking industry leading technology provides consumers with the first of its kind lithium-ion rechargeable hearing aid, offering 24 hours of hearing with one simple charge,” said Martin Grieder, Group Vice President of Phonak.
Earlier, research by Phonak suggested rechargeable batteries and rechargeable hearing aids are the most important features desired by hearing aid users. Based on this and years of research, the Phonak Audeo B-R launches a new era for those affected by hearing conditions. At present the lithium ion seems to be the fastest growing and promising battery offering 40% more power than conventional batteries. This means the Phonak Audeo B-R may be the quickest charging and longest lasting rechargeable hearing aid ever produced.
Phonak seems to have provided a neat solution to the challenge of hearing conditions. With 24 hours of use with a single charge, smart charging options offer flexibility. Charging quickly in 3 hours another fast-charging option does it in 30 minutes. The lithium ion battery has a long life exceeding the lifetime of the hearing aid even after years of constant re-charging. A sealed battery compartment allows users to get on with life, freeing them from the task of removing and replacing batteries. The technology seems to be comparatively environmentally friendly, conventional batteries need to be replaced up to a hundred times a year. Charging on the move has also been considered, the power pack provides enough energy for 7 full charges for 2 hearing aids, thinking of the user on trips where power sources are unavailable. A compact mini charger gives further alternative power options.
The Audeo B-R uses the Autosense OS operating system now including features like Sound Recover 2, which works automatically leaving users free from having to constantly change settings. It provides 20% better speech comprehension, in normal conditions and a 60% improvement in busy environments due to sophisticated audio technology. Depending on the external conditions, whether in the car, listening to music or conversing, the device draws upon 200 distinct settings to match the environment. The new Audeo B has a new design, which aims to be protected from water and may be a technological breakthrough in hearing aids.
How does technology improve the lives of individuals with hearing conditions?