Portable Hearing Laboratory

Period of Performance: 07/01/2017 - 06/30/2018


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Batandcat, Inc.
Palo Alto, CA 94301
Principal Investigator


The National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) has recently funded a number of projects (referred further to as ?concurrent projects?) to develop portable signal processing tools that provide substantial computing power for real-time processing of the acoustic environment. The overarching goal is to provide a large group of researchers (?Community?) with the means to ef?ciently develop and evaluate, in collaborative multi-center environments, novel signal processing schemes, individualized ?tting procedures, and technical solutions and services for hearing devices such as hearing aids and assistive listening devices. In the already funded project 1R01DC015429 (Hohmann and Pavlovic) our emphases is on developing open source code for real-time runtime environments for standard PC platforms with standard sound hardware (Windows and Linux operating systems) as well as for ARM platforms (Beaglebone black with 2/2- and 6/2-ch AD/DA (Linux)). Furthermore, to enable researchers to perform testing with small size wearables in the ?eld, ARM Cortex®-M4 micro-controller support (i.e. library calls to the Cortex kernel routines) will be also included from July 1 2018. The purpose of this complementary project is to develop a portable, rigid, versatile and wearable platform featuring an ARM Cortex®-M4 processor and able to run software developed in the concurrent project of Hohmann and Pavlovic. This Portable Hearing Aid Community Platform (PHACP) consists of both hardware elements to provide the advanced desired functionality and software routines to provide the basic intra-device data ?ow (operating system) as well as interconnectivity with other devices such as telephones and remote microphones. What this projects brings is the only platform that is not only portable physically, but provides for all the features that researchers may need to empower or even conceive new algorithms. In addition, the company will launch the device for the sales into consumer market where it will provide for unprecedented performance by the hearing impaired individuals. Most importantly, the innovative stream of algorithms ported immediately by the researchers to the device would provide for a continuous and sustainable competitive advantage.