April 12, 2007

Oticon, Inc. has introduced Epoq, a hearing instrument designed with wireless connectivity at its core. A proprietary binaural high speed wireless technology enables a pair of Epoq hearing devices to communicate at data transfer speeds 100 times faster than hearing instruments now on the market, according to an Oticon news release.

Sources at Oticon say the Epoq’s real-time connectivity with voices and other sounds in the immediate listening environment provides accurate, stereophonic auditory information in synch with a user’s visual experience.  The same wireless connectivity enables hands-free access to electronically transmitted sounds from Bluetooth-enabled cell phones and electronic devices such as MP3 players and computers. 

”Epoq allows hearing care professionals to address two distinct needs in one unified hearing solution – the ability to communicate efficiently and effectively with the world of ’near’ sounds such as human voice and environmental sounds and with the ’far away’ world of electronic communication through devices such as cell phones and MP3 players,” Peer Lauritsen, President of Oticon, Inc, said. “We finally have a hearing instrument that goes beyond compensation for hearing loss to become a true high tech communications device.”

Epoq is powered by Oticon’s wireless digital platform, RISE, which uses EarStream™ broadband technology to create a wireless sphere around users.  This enables two Epoq hearing aids to manage auditory information via a central processor.

Oticon says Epoq’s unique dual-path processing takes into account the way in which the brain relies on input from two ears to deliver the best performance on a variety of sound paramaters. Binaurally fitted Epoq hearing instruments are synchronized in the core processing to best preserve the cues for localization and speech segregation. The result, according to Oticon, is a much more accurate – stereophonic – sound picture.

Epoq incorporates The Streamer, a wearable device similar to an MP3 player, facilitates audio streaming from cell phones, personal computers, GPS systems and other electronic devices.  The Streamer converts Bluetooth signals into an electromagnetic bit stream that is received directly by the hearing instruments.  This seamless connectivity is fully digital and uninterrupted from the Bluetooth source device to the hearing instruments. Paired to a Bluetooth compatible cell phone, Streamer users can receive phone calls binaurally through the hearing instruments.

To learn more about Epoq visit www.oticonusa.com

Source: Oticon