Photokina 2014 highlights

Cochlear

For the first time, researchers at the University of New South Wales in Australia have use...

According to the World Health Organization, more than 360 million people worldwide live with disabling hearing loss, and for many, devices such as hearing aids and cochlear implants allow them to maintain a normal life style. But what if a cochlear device could offer a biological solution that would enhance a patient’s experience?  Read More

The hard-to-miss external components of a traditional cochlear implant (Photo: Shutterstoc...

Thanks to the development of cochlear implants, many people who would otherwise be quite deaf are able to regain a limited sense of hearing. Unfortunately, the implants also incorporate external components that can get in the user's way, and that look ... well, that look like the user has something hooked up to their ear. Now, however, researchers at MIT, Harvard Medical School and the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary have developed a chip that could lead to cochlear implants that are entirely implanted.  Read More

An experimental ear-powered chip, with a penny for scale

Our ears work by converting the vibrations of the eardrum into electrochemical signals that can be interpreted by the brain. The current for those signals is supplied by an ion-filled chamber deep within the inner ear – it’s essentially a natural battery. Scientists are now looking at using that battery to power devices that could be implanted in the ear, without affecting the recipient’s hearing.  Read More

The prototype middle-ear microphone attached to a cadaver’s umbo (Photo: Case Western Rese...

U.S researchers are developing a tiny middle ear "microphone" that could remove the need for any external components on cochlear implants. Led by University of Utah engineer Darrin J. Young, the research team has produced and tested a prototype of the device which uses an accelerometer attached to the tiny bones of the middle ear to detect sound vibration.  Read More

The vertigo-alleviating cochlear implant

Meniere's disease is an inner ear disorder that affects about one percent of the U.S. population, and it’s a disabling condition – attacks of vertigo can occur without warning, requiring people to lay still for several hours at a time. This ever-present possibility causes sufferers to avoid certain activities, situations and even careers. Medication and lifestyle changes often alleviate it, but if they don’t then surgery is the next step, which typically depletes the hearing and/or balance functions of the affected ear. Now, a team of scientists from the University of Washington Medical Center are about to try out a new cochlear implant on their first human test subject. Their hope is that it will get rid of his symptoms, while allowing him to retain full use of both ears.  Read More

The wrist-mounted Outer Ear detects sound-waves via a wrist-strap and converts it into low...

The Outer Ear is a non-surgical concept system for the hearing impaired that detects sound-waves and converts them into physical vibration. A watch-like wrist-strap acts as the receiver and transmits a signal via Bluetooth to a device mounted on the arm which in turn converts the sound into low, medium or high vibrations depending on the frequency.  Read More

The Cochlear BP100

Hearing aids have come a long way since the ear trumpet; from the traditional aid that simply amplified sound and delivered it to the ear via an earpiece (air conduction), to the so-called "bionic ear" that works by directly stimulating auditory nerves inside the cochlea with an electric field. But the journey continues, with newer technologies which use the bones of the skull to conduct sound. Now Cochlear has launched a new direct bone conduction device, the BAHA BP100, that delivers significant improvements in speech understanding in noisy situations (about 25%) and better bone conduction hearing performance than ever before. It can also integrate with other lifestyle accessories such as iPods and Bluetooth adapters. Geoffrey Baird spoke with audiologist Anthea Arkcoll about the new device - listen to the Podcast or  Read More

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In this week's Gizcast, Geoffrey Baird speaks with audiologist Anthea Arkcoll about a new type of hearing aid that bypasses the ear altogether and uses bone conduction technology to send a direct signal to the auditory nerve. Then Loz Blain wraps up with some of the most interesting electric and green car concepts the Giz team are drooling over in Frankfurt, and a quick look at a medical device that could give doctors a new way to fight stubborn cancer tumours.  Read More

The AcceleGlove, easy to put on and use

After years in the making, the AcceleGlove open source data glove is now available for purchase. Originally designed for use as an automated American Sign Language (ASL) interpreter, the AcceleGlove can also be used for a host of other applications thanks to its open source Software Development Kit (SDK). Developers and hobbyists alike can adapt the glove for use in assistive technology, rehabilitation, robotics, video gaming, virtual reality or a computing input device to name a few.  Read More

Clarity C420 telephone

Clarity, a division of Plantronics, has developed the C420 amplified telephone to help those who suffer from hearing loss to improve the quality of their conversations. The cordless phone is equipped with Clarity Power, designed to make phone conversations clearer and easier to understand for people with a mild to moderate hearing loss.  Read More

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