Oticon A/S out of Smørum, Denmark has released a new hearing system that promises a more natural experience thanks to an advanced new sound processing algorithm. The Oticon Agil manages sound at a higher level of abstraction than traditional hearing aids, separating and optimizing them based on source and type. In essence, it does some of the tasks that the brain would otherwise have to perform. So this hearing aid can also be rightfully called a brain aid.
From the press release:
New Oticon Agil is the first hearing instrument designed to enable people with hearing loss to minimize the cognitive energy expended in typical listening environments without compromising sound quality and speech understanding. With the breakthrough multidimensional sound processing of new Oticon Agil, speech understanding becomes more immediate so that more cognitive energy is readily available to engage in day-to-day interactions.
New Oticon Agil processes sound the way the human auditory system naturally does, preserving the fidelity of natural speech and spatial cues so that less energy is needed to translate and interpret the meaning of sounds — allowing the brain to perform other important cognitive tasks.
The brain uses a three-step process to understanding speech. It first organizes sounds and selects those sounds that are most important. Once a sound is identified, the brain follows it naturally, enabling the individual to comfortably interact in the listening environment. Hearing loss distorts sounds, disrupting this process for people with hearing loss. New Oticon Agil takes much of the hard work out of organizing, selecting and following sounds so that people with hearing loss can stay engaged and active in everyday activities.
A variety of technological innovations, such as Speech Guard, increase Oticon Agil’s ability to ease speech understanding in noise. Speech Guard is designed to preserve natural speech cues making it easier for the auditory system to identify individual speech patterns and “lock on” to a speaker and ignore competing sounds. When two Oticon Agil hearing instruments are worn, a wireless link allows them to share information about the listening environment and optimize their performance in such a way that the user has access to important sound details.
Staying connected to modern life through today’s high-tech communication and entertainment devices is another way that hearing impaired people maintain an active, vital lifestyle. Oticon Agil connects wirelessly and seamlessly to mobile phones, MP3 music players and a variety of other communication and entertainment devices via the Oticon Streamer. In addition, with the introduction of two innovative features – Power Bass and Music Widening – listening to sounds has never been richer and more enjoyable.
Here’s Oticon’s marketing video for the Agil:
Press release: New Oticon Agil Takes the Work out of Organizing, Selecting and Following Speech…
Product page: Oticon Agil…