December 5, 2007
Ingeniøren,a Danish newsmagazine related to the fields of science and technology, has awarded the Danish Product Award 2007 to Oticon Epoq for its engineering, design and craftsmanship. The annual award recognizes outstanding product development and innovation by Danish companies.
A news release from Oticon stated that an independent panel of judges, headed by Jørgen Kiems, director of the Danish Technological University, selected Epoq from among innovations submitted by 36 competing Danish companies. The judges explained their decision to award the top honor to Oticon and Epoq:
“In developing hearing aids the highest goal is to create a device that will help users hear as naturally as possible – and that includes the ability to determine where sounds are coming from. Until now, hearing instruments were not able to meet this challenge. Localizing sound demands a great deal from technology which must coordinate signals coming into two ears simultaneously, separated by a very small distance. Epoq has achieved this goal. Using wireless communication, Oticon has succeeded in developing a truly revolutionary device that makes the company a leader in the industry”.
According to the Oticon release, Niels Jacobsen, president and chief executive officer of both Oticon A/S and parent company William Demant Holding stated: “It is with great pride that we accept this prize. Oticon Epoq is a unique new development with the potential to significantly improve the quality of life of people with hearing loss. Wireless broadband communication between the two hearing devices represents a technological quantum leap that greatly enhances sound quality.”
Epoq’s wireless connectivity is designed to enable people with hearing loss to connect to the world of electronically transmitted sounds from Bluetooth-enabled cell phones and other popular electronic devices such as MP3 players and computers. With the addition of Epoq’s companion device called a Streamer, Epoq reportedly becomes the equivalent of a hands-free intelligent headset without having to attach bulky devices or wires to the hearing instrument.
In a press release announcing the award winners, Ingeniøren noted that Epoq – over six years in development — represents the biggest product development project in Oticon’s history.