Saturday, 6 September 2014

“Super Normal Hearing” Through Sonova’s New Microphone

Roger
Sonova, a Zurich based company has been able to successfully develop a new microphone which is in the shape of pen and called “Roger”. The name has been derived from terms used for radio communication to indicate receipt of message. It is wireless microphone which has the ability to transmit the voice of the speaker over a 2.2 GHZ frequency to a tiny receiver chip in the hearing aid.


This device has been designed to help the people who have loss of hearing to understand speech. This device is will be able to perform better even when compared to the normal hearing of the people. With the increase in the aging population, the demand of hearing aid is increasing in the industry and companies and manufacturers are trying to implement new technologies to attract more and more customers.

Through this product the company is aiming to retain their position as the market leaders in makers of hearing aid equipments. Company is generating nearly 70% of their revenue from the products which have been launched in the market less than two years ago.

The company has designed the product, which can be either placed on a table to use like microphone or can be hung around a speaker’s neck. It has the ability to enhance speech depending on the surrounding noise like industries, polluted traffic noise, if you are in a vehicle etc.

WHO has already indicated that nearly 5% of the people around the world have problem with hearing. This 5% data accounts for nearly 360 million people out of the world’s population. According to the Sonova’s Science and technology head, Stefan, this hearing aid will be very beneficial if the target of speech is atleast an arm distance away and not very close.

According to the study published by American Journal of Audiology, with the help of “Roger”, at 65 DB noise level, people with hearing loss (moderate or severe) were able to understand the speech much better than the normal hearing people. The sale of the pen has contributed towards the company’s wireless communication business by 19%.

As per Kevin, head of technology at British charity Action on Hearing Loss, even though there are other competitors in the market offering wireless communication products, the sale of roger pen is very discrete as it has a completely different ability of switching between different amplifying sounds coming from all the directions. Due to this rival company like GN Resound has launched their new product LiNX hearing aid through which the user will be able to enjoy music and take calls from their iPhones. They are considering the fact that people will opt for a hearing aid liked with a popular brand rather than simply wearing a hearing aid.

Even though “Roger” pen has its advantages, the inbuilt technology has limitations. At the end nothing can replace the power a brain has with any number of technical equipments and devices.

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