Virginia Commonwealth University has received a United States patent for technology developed by HR contributor Martin Lenhardt and his colleague Douglas Richards. The patent was awarded for "hearing device improvements using modulation of acoustically coupled signals at middle ear resonance."
The present invention generally relates to hearing aids and, more particularly, to devices that improve upon conventional hearing aids by using modulation techniques adapted to the characteristics of auditory and vestibular hearing.
The abstract of the patent published by the US Patent and Trademark Office states, in part:
"There is provided hearing device improvements using modulation techniques adapted to the characteristics of auditory and vestibular hearing. One embodiment provides for extending hearing to the infrasonic range by extracting sounds from the high ambient noise in this range and applying them to a carrier in the ultrasonic ‘quiet zone.’
“Further extension of hearing into the ultrasonic range is provided by a modulation scheme which uses a fluid conduction coupler to match impedance for a vibration transducer applied to the skin. A variation on this embodiment integrates this ultrasonic hearing extension with normal acoustic headphones. Another embodiment compensates for high frequency hearing loss by a modulation scheme, which uses middle ear resonance as an amplifier.
"A further embodiment combines ultrasonic transposition with wireless modulation to obtain secure communication.”
The full patent description is available here.
Hearing with Your Brain: High-Frequency Stimulation in Sensorineural Hearing Loss
by Martin Lenhardt, PhD, AuD
SOURCE: Virginia Commonwealth University