New bionic hearing aid developed in Australia
18 May 2011
Researchers based in Melbourne, Australia have invented a smart, self-managed hearing aid using bionic ear technology.
Retailing for half the price of a conventional hearing aid at less than A$3,000 for a pair, the small device can be bought on the internet and fitted by the user themselves. The user can then easily fine-tune it and switch the settings to suit the home, work or other social situations.
The inventor of one of the hearing aid’s core technologies, Dr Peter Blamey, founder of Australia Hears and Deputy Director of the Bionic Ear Institute said, “Australia’s bionic ear has already brought hearing to hundreds of thousands of deaf children and adults worldwide.
“The Australia Hears hearing aid uses digital technology from the bionic ear (known as ADRO) to bring better hearing to the millions of Australians with hearing loss, who have been put off by the cost, complexity and stigma of conventional hearing aids,” he said.
The new hearing aids are the culmination of nearly 12 years of research and development supported at key stages by the Australian government. They also have applications in headsets and mobile phones.
With the help of a Victorian government grant, Dr Blamey and his colleagues are designing the next version which will be prototyped using an advanced manufacturing facility at RMIT.