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Next-generation hearing aids inspired by brain science

Next-generation hearing aids inspired by brain science

One of the most common complaints that users have about hearing aids is that they are ‘noisy’, for many people, a cacophony of background sounds ugly and non-comfortable. Sometimes, it could be even that can become overwhelming, Springwise report.

A next-generation hearing aids has a number of innovations aimed at making life comfortable for those who struggle with hearing. In fact, the market is full of headphones that let users check their hearing, and even gloves that convert sign language into the spoken word. However, the market of hearing aids is highly polarised.

There are overseas brands dominating the higher end of the market, while on the lower end of the price range, consumer electronics firms offer devices with lower sound quality. To fill the golden middle, Hong Kong-based Incus offers its own device. The startup is not merely focused on carving out a market niche. Instead, it is leveraging brain science to push the boundaries of hearing aid technology.

Hearing aids are too ‘noisy’ too often

One of the most common complaints that users have about hearing aids is that they are too ‘noisy’. Poorer quality devices are also prone to loud whistling and screeching. To tackle this, Incus uses brain-inspired neural network models to separate speech from background noise. This makes speech clearer and easier to understand. At the same time, the device scans the background soundscape, keeping it at a comfortable level.

The hearing aids also leverage the benefits of convenience and accessibility typical of consumer electronics. Users can quickly and easily set up their device with the smartphone application Yinbei, which is available for both iOS and Android. A five-minute hearing test in the app personalises the sounds the user will hear.

So far, Incus has already filed over 15 patent applications, with their first hearing device – the Kite smart personal sound amplifier launched in 2020. Despite the pandemic, the firm secured fresh funding which it will invest in research and development, marketing, and operational scale-up.