Bragi’s appearance at this year’s CES isn’t about an updated pair of earbuds. At least, not yet. It’s taking its audio tech in a new, health-based direction, working with Mimi Hearing Technologies to create personalised hearing enhancement.
Both companies are working on a Personal Sound Amplification Product (PSAP) — backed with FDA approval. The rest of the details are still TBC, although according to Bragi, it will combine hearing enhancement with a design that’s similar to its Dash series of buds — in short, it’s not going to look like a hearing aid. The project was apparently inspired by one of Bragi’s early Kickstarter backers, who made a basic modification to the Dash to offer relief from tinnitus. The company now plans to combine its audio know-how with Mimi’s customized hearing test maps, resulting user-specific sound profiles and creating a refined solution for hearing issues like tinnitus.
Project Ears has already established a hearing test (in science terms, a “pure tone threshold test”) to create unique “Earprint”. Combined with with Mimi’s personalization tech, the hearing device will automatically configure and program itself to the individual without any need for manual programming or even a smartphone. According to Bragi, Project Ears will also test out personalized hearing enhancement in homes, offices, and outside work environments like construction sites. (That’s why there’s a picture of a builder up there at the top of this article — if you were wondering.)
Project Ears is posited as a way to help with hearing issues in an unobtrusive, subtle way that doesn’t involve often pricey medical tech. It’s certainly not the only company branching out in this direction. Many others are likely approaching assistive audio, after a bill to deregulate hearing aids was passed, opening up access (and hopefully reducing the price of entry) to hearing aid devices of all kinds. Bragi believes it’s nimble and small enough to beat bigger competition to the punch.
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Source: Project Ears