Widex Boosts Performance of its Rechargeable Hearing Aids
Second-Generation ZPower Rechargeable System Improves Battery Life, Reliability
09 March 2019
Widex said the upgrade takes every element of the hearing aid's battery system into account. The charging station provides a more optimized charging cycle; a new nanocoated ASIC chip ensures the best use of both short-and long-term power; a stronger battery door that's twice as strong and an enhanced battery contact configuration make the system more reliable; and extra moisture protection for metal parts provides optimal resistance from corrosion.
The improvements come shortly after the company announced significant enhancements to its popular Widex Evoke hearing aids, including a 25% improvement in its artificial intelligence-based SoundSense Learn feature that improves and automatically personalizes the hearing aids' sound.
"We’re confident that users will be happy with this new product as a reliable and superior rechargeable solution,” said Jeff Geigel, President, Widex USA. “This upgrade comes with significant improvements to the design and battery lifespan, as well as faster personalization for Widex EVOKE users."
Smaller and more powerful rechargeable hearing aid batteries
Unlike several competitors who introduced their own proprietary rechargeable hearing aid systems, Widex is working with ZPower, an independent supplier of silver-zinc rechargeable battery systems. ZPower rechargeable batteries are known for their high capacity, flexibility and safety.
Widex said ZPower rechargeables have the highest energy capacity of all size-312 batteries and outperform other rechargeable options by 20%. ZPower batteries can also be replaced with standard zinc-air batteries if needed, providing more user flexibility. And they are fully recyclable, mercury-free and non-flammable.
Growing power demand for hearables and consumer wearables
ZPower adapted technology originally used in the military and the NASA space program to deliver a solution that miniaturized rechargeable batteries without loss of energy density. It also patented a charging method that enables hundreds of charge cycles without significant decline in performance.
“This breakthrough introduced small-scale rechargeable power in ways that weren’t previously possible while eliminating the safety and transportation concerns associated with lithium-ion technology," ZPower CEO Ross Dueber said in a recent company update. "It’s positioned ZPower as an innovator and enabler in advanced miniature power solutions.”
The company said that with power demands for miniaturized devices growing rapidly, "ZPower is positioned to help commercialize next-gen hearables, wearables and portable electronics for consumer, medical, and military needs."
In addition to broadening and improving its rechargeable battery systems for hearing aids, Zpower in 2018 expanded with $30 million in new financing, doubled its production floor space, and introduced additional products for medical and consumer electronics markets.