Cambridge software startup AudioTelligence is providing hearing aid and consumer electronics companies with a reference design for its new assistive hearing device, a tabletop remote microphone called Orsana, to create and release their own assistive listening devices.

Orsana offers a solution for hearing aid users who struggle in social situations where traditional options are insufficient. For non-hearing aid users, Orsana caters to the increasing demand for solutions that enable the user to hear in noisy environments, which was identified in recent research by Qualcomm.

The device can be paired with their Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) True Wireless Stereo (TWS) earbuds and/or hearing aids, which means it can connect to other devices on the market.

AudioTelligence is further offering companies the opportunity to evaluate the effectiveness of Orsana.

The universal assistive listening device designed to help everyone hear clearly in noise, with or without hearing aids, allows users to focus on the people they want to hear while at the same time reducing background noise.

Ken Roberts, CEO of AudioTelligence, said: “Orsana is an important part of this new world of hearing. The new BLE low latency codec is about to create a world of audio where wireless hearing enhancement on different consumer devices, including multiple personalised audio from one device, becomes a reality.”

In the past, solutions for hearing in noise have either been traditional hearing aids, which need additional own-brand remote microphones to work well in noise or separate, more generic remote microphones that must have a wired connection to earbuds, according to AudioTelligence.

Devices by AudioTelligence can enable hearing enhancement across a range of devices including earbuds, smartphones, and tablets.

Orsana can add additional hearing enhancement to any brand of BLE-enabled hearing aids or enhance their ability to hear in noise by connecting wirelessly to earbuds, all using the same device.

The new Bluetooth technology will allow the device to connect wirelessly to BLE-enabled hearing aids or wireless earbuds, with the low latency necessary for face-to-face conversations.

Orsana will be able to combine with Auracast, the new development which will enable several people to connect to one device; with the addition of Orsana, everyone using that device can have a personalised audio stream.

The world of hearing assistance is changing fast; there is no longer a clear distinction between hearing aids as medical devices and True Wireless Stereo earbuds as consumer products, says Audiotelligence.

In the UK it is now possible to buy over the counter hearing aids online, without prescription or audiology referral. Audio Telligence saya, the use of wireless earbuds for hearing enhancement is growing in popularity.

Orsana is powered by AudioTelligence’s blind source separation technology, which separates speech from different sources and allows the user to choose what they listen to, enabling clean speech to be delivered to BLE earbuds or hearing aids.

Dave Betts, AudioTelligence’s Chief Science Officer, added: “We are proud of what Orsana can achieve, but we are not stopping here. Next on our roadmap will be to put this same technology into an earbud charging case, giving consumers an all-in-one device combining earbuds and hearing enhancement”.

In 2022, AudioTelligence’s aiso software for hearing technology won a Hearing Technology Innovator Award.
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