BERLIN: German startup Vibrosonic has developed a unique hearing aid, dubbed the “contact lens for hearing.”
The device has been developed jointly by the University of Tبنbingen in Germany and the Fraunhafer Institute for Manufacturing, Engineering and Automation, while a startup company called Vibrosonic has been set up to deliver it to consumers.
The device is named “Alpha” for sale. Unlike the usual hearing aid, the Alpha Hearing Aid has a tiny speaker that is placed very close to the eardrum.
The outside of the device vibrates the speaker, transmitting the surrounding sounds to the inside. This vibration creates vibrations directly in the eardrum, making it easier for the user to hear.
According to a press release from the Fraunhafer Institute, this hearing aid is far better and more effective than the usual hearing aid.
This does not seem to be much different from traditional hearing aids. It has a battery mounted on the outside which is worn on the ear.
A thin wire coming out of it reaches inside the ear canal with a “piezoelectric speaker” installed at the front end.
This is a special kind of speaker that vibrates in a certain way at voltage fluctuations.
The outer part of the hearing aid converts the surrounding sounds into electrical signals and sends them to the inner speaker, which vibrates according to the same signals (voltage drop).
This vibration is immediately transmitted to the eardrum, which reaches the brain and creates a sense of hearing in the wearer.
Although the “Alpha” is very safe and does not require any operation to wear, unlike the normal hearing aid, it cannot be taken off once worn.
The prototype of the device was developed in 2019 and has been improved over the past two years.
With its existing “Alpha” design, the device not only reduces unnecessary noise and ensures better hearing, but also covers all frequencies from 80 Hz to 12 kHz, which a normal human ear can hear. Can
Vibrosonic has applied to the relevant European bodies for approval of “Alpha”, which is expected to be approved by September or October 2021.
Only then will the price of the “Alpha” be announced, which could be as high as or more expensive than a high-quality hearing aid.
Vibrosonic says that the existing hearing aid is being further improved, which will be made so small that the entire system of the device will fit into the ear canal