Acoustic Support System
This early patent for an Acoustic Support System for hearing aids addresses a big and growing market. It describes a technology to add harmonic waves to the basic frequencies to active and train hearing abilities; and enrich and ease the sound for a better understanding. The patent is granted only in Germany, but due to the size of the German market and the origin of the key market Players (esp. producers of hearing aids) from Germany or neighbouring countries, it indirectly targets the world market.
The described Acoustic Support System targets users that cannot hear specific frequencies. These disabilities are normally addressed with electro-acoustical amplifiers by increasing the relevant frequencies. The described technology proposes that the hearing aid (a) activate and trains the hearing ability by adding harmonic waves that stimulate the hearing sense; and (b) supports the hearing abilities by complementing the basic frequencies with related harmonic waves. The user "learns" to relate the harmonic waves to the disabled frequencies and hereby decodes the sound more clearly.
3. Development Stage
The inventors successfully build a prototype in 1997 but did not follow up with a commercial product.
4. Market / Opportunity
Only a few big companies control the world market, whereof Siemens (D) is markel leader with 23% followed by Phonak (CH) and William Demant/Otikon (DK) with 22% market share each. Resound (DK) is #4 addressing 13% of the world market. All four companies have a very strong position in the German market - with a total value of approx. 300 mUSD - and, cumulatively, catch >80% of the hearing aid sales. The technology to add harmonic waves to increase the hearing ability is known and used in commercially available hearing aids. Due to the increase in the proportion of elderly people, the market for hearing aids will continue to grow significantly. As the German market is one of the most important markets worldwide for hearing aids and the most relevant players are located and partially have manufacturing sites in Germany or one of the neighbouring countries, the patent has a significant value for the world market, even if just a German patent is granted.
The described Acoustic Support System, respectively this early patent, could be interesting for any producer of hearing aids or an IP-holding-company seeking "licensing out” opportunities.
5. IP / Status of the Patent application
Priority Date 18/07/1995
DE19525944 18/07/1995 granted
6. Contact Details
If you are interested in the described technology and/or further Information on the Patent, please contact
engage - Key Technology Ventures AG
Mr. Moritz v. Grotthuss
D -18055 Rostock (Germany)
Heike Klockow | PVA - MV AG
The most recent press releases about innovation >>>
Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:
Spectrally narrow x-ray pulses may be “sharpened” by purely mechanical means. This sounds surprisingly, but a team of theoretical and experimental physicists developed and realized such a method. It is based on fast motions, precisely synchronized with the pulses, of a target interacting with the x-ray light. Thereby, photons are redistributed within the x-ray pulse to the desired spectral region.
A team of theoretical physicists from the MPI for Nuclear Physics (MPIK) in Heidelberg has developed a novel method to intensify the spectrally broad x-ray...
Physicists working with researcher Oriol Romero-Isart devised a new simple scheme to theoretically generate arbitrarily short and focused electromagnetic fields. This new tool could be used for precise sensing and in microscopy.
Microwaves, heat radiation, light and X-radiation are examples for electromagnetic waves. Many applications require to focus the electromagnetic fields to...
Strong light-matter coupling in these semiconducting tubes may hold the key to electrically pumped lasers
Light-matter quasi-particles can be generated electrically in semiconducting carbon nanotubes. Material scientists and physicists from Heidelberg University...
Fraunhofer IPA has developed a proximity sensor made from silicone and carbon nanotubes (CNT) which detects objects and determines their position. The materials and printing process used mean that the sensor is extremely flexible, economical and can be used for large surfaces. Industry and research partners can use and further develop this innovation straight away.
At first glance, the proximity sensor appears to be nothing special: a thin, elastic layer of silicone onto which black square surfaces are printed, but these...
3-D shape acquisition using water displacement as the shape sensor for the reconstruction of complex objects
A global team of computer scientists and engineers have developed an innovative technique that more completely reconstructs challenging 3D objects. An ancient...