Rechargeable Invisible Hearing Aids Anyone?
I was talking to these guys from Canada recently, the company name is Solace Power and they design and licence wireless charging technology. Why is this interesting? Because their system is such, that they are pretty sure it is ideal for hearing aids. Not just the BTE and RIC rechargeable devices we are seeing either. Their system should theoretically allow wireless charging of a custom product. Even better, it should add no volume and no weight, that means the possibility of even rechargeable invisible hearing aids, would you be interested?
70% of Patients Want Rechargeable
According to industry research, 70% of patients have indicated a preference for rechargeable hearing instruments. This has in fact helped to form the future product road map for many of the big hearing aid brands. Reliable rechargeable hearing aids that could be guaranteed to last a full day's use are really only a thing of the recent past. Since their introduction though, they have become amazingly popular.
I said in an article a while ago that I felt the real battleground for the hearing aid manufacturers was probably going to be in the custom in ear hearing aid ranges. It isn't easy to manufacture a rechargeable custom hearing aid, the problem is size and placement. Rechargeable devices are usually contact or near field (induction). Both of these methods present problems for someone who is making a very discreet hearing aid. The contacts on the shell or the induction coil within the shell would add weight and size. Something that no one really wants to do. But what if it could be done with no sacrifices, no extra volume or weight? Meet Solace Power.
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A Different Way to Wireless Charge
I am not going to bore you with the technical bits, but in essence Solace uses a system whereby the device to be recharged just needs to be close to the charging pad. It doesn't need to touch, it just needs to be close. The device that is being charged has a receiver antenna in it which picks up the energy and sends it to the battery. Here is the really cool part, that receiver antenna can be a piece of special foil. It could be as simple as attaching that foil during manufacture to the battery, to the battery contacts, hell even to the custom shell of the aid.
So absolutely no space gain, no fiddly contacts and no big inductive coil. I think that has to be a winner. There are of course plenty of things that need to be worked out, how it is done, how it will work and will the system fit well with hearing aids. However, I have no doubt that these guys are probably working pretty hard on that.
If it comes off, it could mean complete freedom, in essence the charger could be some sort of mat or tray that you simply dropped your hearing aids onto. Or a case that you simply dropped your hearing aids into. No messing around, no slotting them in just freedom. Combine this with actual rechargeable invisible hearing aids or CICs, and that has to be a big deal right?
Wireless Charging Of Hearing Aids, Would You Be Interested?
Here is the thing, would you be interested, would you like to have rechargeable custom hearing aids combined with this freedom of movement? Let us know on firstname.lastname@example.org
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Posted by Geoff
Geoffrey (Geoff, anything else makes him nervous) Cooling 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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