In our last article, we spoke about the Widex announcement of the introduction of their new hearing aid platform. I said that I believe that they were introducing a concept to hearing aids that is groundbreaking. Machine learning has radically changed many healthcare fields, now it is the turn of hearing health. Widex have been very sparse with the information in relation to the Evoke platform, but there are some details we have been able to find out.
Widex Evoke Fusion 2
The Evoke platform has a full lineup of hearing aid models, from in the ear to behind the ear hearing aids. One of the devices is the Fusion 2, it is based on the Beyond hearing aid from Widex. That means it should have three radios, a Bluetooth radio, the WidexLink radio and a Telecoil. It definitely has a Bluetooth radio, because it uses it to connect and communicate with the Evoke app. It seems that the Fusion 2 is the only hearing aid that communicates with the Evoke app. This is important because it appears the only way to access the machine learning facility is through the Evoke app.
No Machine Learning Across the Board?
The rest of the hearing aids in the Evoke range use an app called the Tonelink app. This app seems to work on sounds generated by a Smartphone as opposed to a direct connection. This app also does not appear to have the machine learning feature set. Now I don't know this for sure, and it should be cleared up quickly enough, but it seems that the machine learning feature is primarily a function of the Fusion 2, rather than the full Evoke line-up. I hope I am wrong and the entire line-up is enabled, however, even if I am not, it still has the possibilities of being a massive breakthrough.
A Full Hearing Aid Range
As I said, the Evoke platform is a full hearing aid range with in the ear, receiver in the ear and behind the ear hearing aids. In essence, all of the hearing aids Widex has introduced so far are available including the new Custom devices, the Fusion 2, the Fashion M and the Fashion Power. It means that there is a hearing aid on the Evoke range for pretty much every need and every hearing loss.
The Most Powerful Widex Chips Ever
Widex say that they have introduced the most powerful chipsets they have ever used with the Evoke. They say that the chipset has more connections, more processing power and more flexibility than any platform they've ever produced. They say that there is a flexible core and an accelerated core. The flexible core has dedicated RAM (working memory), which allows new features or fitting data to be added without affecting the performance of the accelerated core which is the driver of the hearing aids.
On top of that, the E-platform can access the huge processing power of a smartphone via the pure-link 2.4 GHz technology (Bluetooth Radio). This makes the large calculations necessary for machine learning features possible. This also points towards the Fusion 2 being the only device that directly accesses the machine learning feature. It doesn't seem from the literature that any of the other hearing aids have the pure-link 2.4 GHz radio.
New Features, New Compression Strategy, New Sound Classes
The platform has completely new features, utilises a completely new compression strategy and adds two completely new sound classes to their line-up. The new Social sound class bridges the gap between their Party and Quiet classes and is designed to give the best sound in small social gatherings. The new music sound class accommodates different styles of music both contemporary and classical. They say that even experienced Widex hearing aid users will notice the difference.
As we find out more, we will update the article and add the details of the new Evoke hearing aid platform to the Widex page.
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Posted by Geoff
Geoffrey (Geoff, anything else makes him nervous) Cooling is an Irish hearing aid blogger and has been involved with the hearing aid industry for over ten years. 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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