SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Roberto Medrano, Dmitriy Stepanov, Gilad Parann-Nissany, Srinivasan Sundara Rajan, Sean Houghton

Blog Feed Post

Bluetooth SIG and EHIMA Partner to Advance Hearing Instrument Technology to Improve the Lives of the Hearing Impaired

Kirkland, Washington and Copenhagen, Denmark - March 12, 2014 - Following the World Health Organisation's International Ear Care Day, the Bluetooth Special Interest Group (SIG) and European Hearing Instrument Manufacturers Association (EHIMA) today announced a memo of understanding (MOU). This partnership between the world's largest association of hearing instrument manufacturers and the largest wireless technology aims to develop a standard for new hearing aids, while improving existing features, and creating new ones such as stereo audio from a mobile device or media gateway with Bluetooth® wireless technology.

With the recent revolution in smartphones, personal music players, TVs and tablets, tens of millions of people with hearing impairments are underserved as few hearing instruments offer direct connectivity to these devices. This means that many users are limited to what the manufacturer provides and cannot customise or add new functionality to the hearing aid. Building on the proliferation of Bluetooth technology in the smart devices consumers already own, the addition of Bluetooth in hearing devices provides users with a customisable and higher quality hearing experience. Additionally, the low-power, intelligent connectivity provided by Bluetooth Smart brings about new scenarios to improve the user experience for those with hearing impairments. Today, however, no standardisation of these solutions exists.

"It is important that we connect to and serve all kinds of smartphones and multimedia sound signals," says EHIMA secretary general, Soren Hougaard. "In order to achieve that, we must define a standard everyone can implement. We want to avoid the situation that occurred in the market for videotapes in the 1980s where customers had to choose among 3-5 tape formats and corresponding VCRs. That was a nightmare!"

Currently, the only standard for wireless reception of audio signals in hearing aids is the telecoil, which dates back to the 1950s. This technology is difficult to incorporate into smartphones. Furthermore, the number of installed loop systems that can transmit audio signals to hearing aids with telecoils varies greatly from country to country. As a result, hearing aid users have limited access to high quality audio signals from external sources. Building on the existing Bluetooth standard that is widely supported in today's smartphones, tablets and personal computers will give more hearing-impaired users the same choice of products and opportunities as everyone else.

"It is really exciting to see Bluetooth technology used to improve people's lives in such a fundamental way, and to explore how Bluetooth Smart can improve current hearing instruments with its amazing power performance and enable entirely new ways for people to customise their hearing experience," said Mark Powell, Executive Director, Bluetooth SIG. "We look forward to working with EHIMA to bring hearing technology into the Internet of My Things — connecting hearing aids and other personal sensor devices to a smartphone, tablet or PC, with the magic of Bluetooth and Bluetooth Smart."

Bluetooth and Bluetooth Smart technology are crucial to transforming the hearing-impaired user's experience. Extending existing and/or developing a new hearing aid profile that allows streaming of audio sources at mono speech or stereo music quality is only the first step. Several use cases will be supported, including calling with a mobile phone, enjoying stereo audio from multi-media devices (music players, radio, television, etc.) and receiving broadcast audio information from public address and announcement systems. This new hearing aid profile will be developed to meet the challenging power requirements of hearing aids, which have to operate with sub-miniature batteries.

The Bluetooth SIG and EHIMA members will further evaluate the feasibility for Bluetooth technology to accommodate hearing aid use case requirements, including compatibility, audio quality, security, and power within the Bluetooth SIG working groups. To apply for participation in the working groups, visit
https://www.bluetooth.org/groups/group.aspx?gId=605

About EHIMA
EHIMA represents the six major European hearing instrument manufacturers, producing up to 90% of hearing aids made in Europe. EHIMA was founded in 1985 and the members are among the world's largest and most advanced hearing aid manufacturers. Members of EHIMA develop, manufacture and market hearing instruments on a large scale in one or more countries in Europe and export their products worldwide, as well.

EHIMA Media contacts
President Jan Topholm
+45 44355600
[email protected]

Secretary General Soren Hougaard
+45 40457135
[email protected]

About Bluetooth® Wireless Technology
Bluetooth wireless technology is the global wireless standard enabling simple, secure connectivity for an expanding range of devices and serves as the backbone of the connected world. Bluetooth Smart technology, through an updatable platform and low power consumption, creates new application opportunities for the mobile phone, consumer electronics, PC, automotive, health & fitness and smart home industries. With over two billion devices shipping annually, Bluetooth is the wireless technology of choice for developers, product manufacturers, and consumers worldwide. Backed by industry leading companies, the Bluetooth SIG empowers over 20,000 member companies to collaborate, innovate and guide Bluetooth wireless technology. For more information, please visit www.bluetooth.com.

Bluetooth Media Contacts:
Americas
Blair Poloskey
INK Public Relations
+1 (512) 382-8983
[email protected]

Europe, Middle East, Africa
Russell Lindsey
Rocket Communications
+44 (0) 845-3707-024
[email protected]

Asia-Pacific
CHINA
Coco Diao
Elite PR Consultants Beijing Co., Ltd
+86-0-6418-4168 ext. 8041
[email protected]

JAPAN
Seiji Arimoto
Actio, Inc.
+81-3-5771-6426
[email protected]

KOREA
Harry Yoon
Strategic Marketing and Communications, Inc.
+82-2-3445-3232
[email protected]

TAIWAN
Zoe Chuang
Apex Communications Consultants
886-2-7718-7777 ext. 517
[email protected]

Source: RealWire

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By RealWire News Distribution

RealWire is a global news release distribution service specialising in the online media. The RealWire approach focuses on delivering relevant content to the receivers of our client's news releases. As we know that it is only through delivering relevance, that influence can ever be achieved.

Latest Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today Isomorphic Software, the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Isomorphic Software is the global leader in high-end, web-based business applications. We develop, market, and support the SmartClient & Smart GWT HTML5/Ajax platform, combining the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software ...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
"Matrix is an ambitious open standard and implementation that's set up to break down the fragmentation problems that exist in IP messaging and VoIP communication," explained John Woolf, Technical Evangelist at Matrix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The 3rd International @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo – to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY – is now accepting Hackathon proposals. Hackathon sponsorship benefits include general brand exposure and increasing engagement with the developer ecosystem. At Cloud Expo 2014 Silicon Valley, IBM held the Bluemix Developer Playground on November 5 and ElasticBox held the DevOps Hackathon on November 6. Both events took place on the expo fl...
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will w...
The term culture has had a polarizing effect among DevOps supporters. Some propose that culture change is critical for success with DevOps, but are remiss to define culture. Some talk about a DevOps culture but then reference activities that could lead to culture change and there are those that talk about culture change as a set of behaviors that need to be adopted by those in IT. There is no question that businesses successful in adopting a DevOps mindset have seen departmental culture change, ...
There's Big Data, then there's really Big Data from the Internet of Things. IoT is evolving to include many data possibilities like new types of event, log and network data. The volumes are enormous, generating tens of billions of logs per day, which raise data challenges. Early IoT deployments are relying heavily on both the cloud and managed service providers to navigate these challenges. In her session at Big Data Expo®, Hannah Smalltree, Director at Treasure Data, discussed how IoT, Big D...
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series dat...
The Internet of Things promises to transform businesses (and lives), but navigating the business and technical path to success can be difficult to understand. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Sean Lorenz, Technical Product Manager for Xively at LogMeIn, demonstrated how to approach creating broadly successful connected customer solutions using real world business transformation studies including New England BioLabs and more.
The security devil is always in the details of the attack: the ones you've endured, the ones you prepare yourself to fend off, and the ones that, you fear, will catch you completely unaware and defenseless. The Internet of Things (IoT) is nothing if not an endless proliferation of details. It's the vision of a world in which continuous Internet connectivity and addressability is embedded into a growing range of human artifacts, into the natural world, and even into our smartphones, appliances, a...
Fundamentally, SDN is still mostly about network plumbing. While plumbing may be useful to tinker with, what you can do with your plumbing is far more intriguing. A rigid interpretation of SDN confines it to Layers 2 and 3, and that's reasonable. But SDN opens opportunities for novel constructions in Layers 4 to 7 that solve real operational problems in data centers. "Data center," in fact, might become anachronistic - data is everywhere, constantly on the move, seemingly always overflowing. Net...
The Internet of Things will put IT to its ultimate test by creating infinite new opportunities to digitize products and services, generate and analyze new data to improve customer satisfaction, and discover new ways to gain a competitive advantage across nearly every industry. In order to help corporate business units to capitalize on the rapidly evolving IoT opportunities, IT must stand up to a new set of challenges. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Jeff Kaplan, Managing Director of THINKstrateg...
DevOps Summit 2015 New York, co-located with the 16th International Cloud Expo - to be held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY - announces that it is now accepting Keynote Proposals. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long development cycles that produce software that is obsolete...
WebRTC defines no default signaling protocol, causing fragmentation between WebRTC silos. SIP and XMPP provide possibilities, but come with considerable complexity and are not designed for use in a web environment. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Matthew Hodgson, technical co-founder of the Matrix.org, discussed how Matrix is a new non-profit Open Source Project that defines both a new HTTP-based standard for VoIP & IM signaling and provides reference implementations.
"There is a natural synchronization between the business models, the IoT is there to support ,” explained Brendan O'Brien, Co-founder and Chief Architect of Aria Systems, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at the 15th International Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.