The Bragi Dash is one of the most talked about in-ear wearables (aka "hearables") to ever to hit the market. After raising over 3 million dollars through an extremely successful crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter (in early 2014), Munich-based Bragi went on to raise 22 million dollars in venture capital from a group of unidentified global investors (in Nov. 2015). In the most simple terms possible, the Dash can be described as a rechargeable wireless earphone that has the capability to store and play music files, stream bluetooth audio, track fitness stats (heart rate, step counter, etc), and provide two-way communication with a smartphone. Read more
Jacoti, a Belgium-based hearing software research company recently emerged from stealth mode and has already won the prestigious 2016 CES Innovation Award for their smartphone-based Jacoti Hearing Suite. By leveraging the widespread availability of consumer devices with high quality audio capability, Jacoti seeks to make hearing assistance normative and ubiquitous, encouraging many more people to use professional audiological services earlier. Read more
In October 2015, the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology (PCAST) delivered Aging America & Hearing Loss: Imperative of Improved Hearing Technologies, which targets America’s worsening hearing loss epidemic. The report proposes a number of regulatory changes, at the level of the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which PCAST believes will “decrease the cost of hearing aids, spur technology innovation, and increase consumer choice options.” Read more
IEEE P2650™, or the "Standard For Enabling Mobile Device Platforms To Be Used As Pre-Screening Audiometric Systems," will undoubtedly become the defacto standard for all smartphone hearing-screening tests. The new standard will help IEEE achieve the goal of addressing the hearing needs of those in emerging economies, where diagnostic hearing-testing facilities, and hearing professionals, are in limited supply. Read more
The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology met on September 18th to discuss hearing aids and hearing technology. The discussion was led by Dr. Christine Cassel, MD, a leading expert in geriatric medicine, who suggested that “technology-based changes in Federal regulations … could make this [Personal Sound Amplification Product] technology more available and begin to promote more innovation in the market.” Here is a short snippet from Dr. Cassel’s professional bio, over at the National Quality Forum. Read more
The center of the tech world finally seems to have discovered a technology that's already at the center of many people's lives: hearing aids. In recent months several hot Silicon Valley venture-capital-funded startups have emerged aiming to address one of the world's biggest consumer technology opportunities -- reaching the tens of millions of consumers with hearing loss who currently don't use hearing aids. Read more
In January 2015, Siemens Audiology Solutions was spun off to EQT Holdings and renamed Sivantos. Sivantos currently designs and manufacturers hearing aids under many brand names, including Siemens, Audio Service, Rexton and A&M. They claim to produce "one of every four hearing aids being used world wide." They also run HearUSA.com, which distributes hearing aids through a network of ~2,500 "independently practicing hearing care professionals." Read more
Consumer electronics behemoth Samsung Electronics is reportedly planning to enter the hearing products market, possibly by the time it launches its next-generation Galaxy S7 smartphone in 2016. Read more
Sonova CEO Lukas Braunschweiler provides a Phonak Lyric hearing aid review, and provides a general overview of the hearing loss industry.
Braunschweiler summarizes the market:
The market is basically tremendous. You have 15% of people on this world suffering from any kind of hearing loss, and only about a fifth of people really have a correction."
When asked why there is resistance to dealing with hearing loss Braunschweiler responds:
Traditionally... hearing instruments have been Read more