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Oticon Introduces Kaizn, A Personal Assistant For Hearing Aids

A Step Towards an Integrated Lifestyle

I think the picture is a bit dodgy, but how and ever, that's marketing people for you! I for one am celebrating the introduction of Kaizn from Oticon. Not because of what it is. Although that is something of real power. But for what it portends. Great word portent, satisfyingly mysterious. Anyway, what I mean is that Kaizn is a step towards the day when your hearing aids are your personal assistant. Where your hearing aids facilitate and are deeply integrated into your life. That is something worth celebrating. Let's talk about what Kaizn does and what I hope something like it will do in the future. 

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The blurb goes "Imagine a hearing aid that gets to know you. Using data from other devices, your hearing aids can tell that you’ve entered a restaurant and adjust accordingly. By accessing collected data about your habits, they can even predict when you’ll enter this restaurant and adjust proactively." and that is our introduction to a new concept in personalised hearing care. 

Oticon says that Kaizn is an AI-powered tool that learns to automate hearing aids settings based on wearer’s preferences and behaviour. Still mystified? Kaizn is an app that lives on your Smartphone. It connects to your Opn hearing aids and it uses a combination of real-time local data, aggregated ‘big’ data and artificial intelligence to deliver the best sound experience. 

Basically and in non-tech babble, the app collects and analyses data about your hearing aid use and the different listening environments you find yourself in to learn your behaviour and hearing preferences. It will then provide real-time hearing aid recommendations and adjustments. It communicates with you through notifications at key moments to learn what you want to gain from different sound environments. Oticon gave a prime example of how Kaizn may work:

Kaizn™ will recognize when a hearing aid wearer enters a noisy environment, like a loud restaurant, and will contact the wearer, via a push notification, to ask whether they need “focus” or “comfort” in the scenario. Kaizn™ will then adjust the user’s hearing aid settings to reflect that preference. Over time, Kaizn™ can automate adaptive changes based on the user’s feedback/validation and adjust the user’s Opn hearing aid settings automatically when they enter similar noise environments.

Making Your Experience More Personalised

The system will make your experience better over time, it will personalise your experience to you and your preferences, more than that, Like the system from Widex, it will make all Oticon hearing aids moving forward better at what they. As I said, that is something to be celebrated. But I want MORE!!!!!!! hahahahahah, like a power-drunk six-year-old, I would like some more, please. 

A True Personal Assistant

I really like this, again, not just because of what it is, but also because of the deeper thought it shows. I think that hearing aids are on their way to deeper integration, I mean why can't hearing aids tell you what your schedule for the day is and what the weather is like every morning? 

Why can't the use geo-location data from your phone to give you information about where you are when travelling? Tell you more about the places you visit, give you the reviews of the restaurant that you are standing outside? All of this could be done, I mean it would take some deep thinking, some development time and a committed team, but the ability to do it is there. 

It is a case of tying some existing Smartphone functionalities and apps together and delivering their data through audio. Okay, that's a simplistic version, but I think the day is coming, and I celebrate that even more. 

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Geoffrey Cooling

Geoffrey Cooling

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Geoffrey (Geoff, anything else makes him nervous) Cooling is an Irish hearing aid blogger and has been involved with the hearing aid industry since 2007. He has worked in private practice dispensing hearing aids and as a manufacturer's rep. He has written two books and they are both available on Amazon. He loves technology, passing on knowledge and is legendary for many other things, primarily the amount he curses, his dry and mischievous sense of humour and his complete intolerance of people who are full of themselves. Please feel free to connect with him.

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