Wear – A wearable personal assistive hearing device
Wear is an affordable, attractive, lightweight wearable assistive directional microphone designed to improve quality of hearing.
Wear is an assistive device designed to improve quality of life for people with hearing loss. Wear is a high fidelity directional analog microphone that is significantly lower in price than existing hearing aids. This microphone can be used with any pair of headphones, has a volume control, is rechargeable, and comfortable to wear.
We’ve been developing this technology in our Brooklyn Studio for the past two years. Wear incorporates a low profile micro-miniature, patent pending, directional microphone technology that creates a 6 foot zone which captures, focuses and clarifies conversations in noisy environments, while reducing the effects of extraneous noise.
Latency (delay) imposed by digital signal processing is detrimental to the hearing impaired due to lip sync (lip reading) difficulties. For that reason we used an analog circuit design with no measurable latency. We incorporate a technology using a beam-forming array of 10 microphones that create a circular 6 foot zone. Acoustic waves generated in that zone (coherent) reach the microphones at the same time so they are amplified. Sounds from further away (non coherent) reach the microphones at different times are not amplified. This creates a near field to far field signal level difference of 10 to 11 db. That 10 db level difference improves the intelligibility of near field conversation. Our research over the past two years has allowed us to reduce the size of beam forming arrays to unprecedented small form factors in a lightweight package using low power. All of this is done without digital signal processing while maintaining hi fidelity sound quality so that the directional microphone can also be used for general recording applications as well as an assistive hearing appliance.
Wear is not a replacement for a hearing aid. Wear is designed to be used when an individual is interested in having a quality conversation in very noisy environments like family get togethers, restaurants or meetings. Wear can also be used as a commentators microphone eliminating the need to hold a microphone during an interview and other high quality audio recording applications.
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