February 5, 2008

Phonak announces is rolling out three digital wireless accessories rooted in the firm’s CORE (Communication Optimized Real-audio Engine) technology, designed to allow wireless communication between the two hearing instruments of a bilateral fitting. According to a source at Phonak, the new products are designed to provide multiple benefits, including bringing Bluetooth to the hearing impaired, providing full-color display feedback, and enabling totally cable-free fitting.

A communication interface that hangs around the neck and features full stereo sound, broadband audio streaming, FM connectivity and Bluetooth. iCom is designed to provide unlimited wireless connection to entertainment and communication devices.

iCom receives Bluetooth signals from a mobile phone, wirelessly streaming them to both Exélia or Naída instruments like a Bluetooth headset. Widex reports that as a result, people who have a hearing impairment and use their cell phones in noisy situations will be in a better position to understand than people with normal hearing. A single button touch is designed to allow access the full range of functions.

Bluetooth is also designed to connect an iCom up to other devices, such as laptops, MP3 players, televisions, GPS and stereo systems. The alternative to Bluetooth is a wired connection between the audio jack of iCom and the headphone output of any audio device. To integrate FM solutions, click an FM receiver on iCom to pick up speech with a transmitter and receive it in a range of up to 65 feet.

A new generation of remote controls with functionalities designed to provide access to features such as ZoomControl. Bidirectional communication between myPilot and the hearing instrument allows wearers to change individual settings and obtain status information such as battery levels, volume, or current program, shown on a large color display. Time and date displays and an alarm are also integrated.

New device designed to simplify the programming process for the fitter. The iCube facilitates cable-free fitting by streaming the fitting data wirelessly to the hearing instruments.

Source: Phonak