Inexpensive Hearing Device Based on Ear Canal Geometry

Period of Performance: 04/15/2003 - 12/14/2004

$283K

Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Hearing Components, Inc.
Oakdale, MN 55128
Principal Investigator

Abstract

DESCRIPTION: We believe there is a need for a high quality inexpensive " reading glasses for your ears" device. This starter device would allow extreme large number of entry-level hearing loss people to experience hearing help earlier. Using our expertise in canal geometry and design of hearing aid accessory products. We will design, I collaboration with a hearing aid accessory products, we will design, in collaborations with a hearing aid manufacturer partner, an inexpressive (<$100 retail), high quality, instantly fir low power, starter Hearing devie for easy adpption by people with early hearin loss. We will develop and manufacture a low-cost disposable tip, which also is a cerumen filter and device stabilizer. Determination of the tip's sound holding power and the feasibility assessment of two potential manufacturing processing routes are the pivotal points that would warrant moving from phase I to phase II Phase II will consist of: 1) automating ear impression measurements to obtain specification for a "minimum geometry" hearing device; 2) transferring this know-how into manufacturing with our hearing device manufacturing partner: and 3) development in house capability to high-speed manufacture a user-friendly, low cost disposable tip that allows instant fitting, cerumen protection and superior seal and retaining features for this starter hearing device. PROPOSED COMMERCIAL APPLICATION: In excess of 12 million people in the U.S. have self-identified mild hearing loss, and would potentially benefit from an inexpensive starter hearing device.