What is it?
Hearing Aids. A Hearing Aid is a device designed to improve hearing by making sound audible to a person with hearing loss. Hearing Aids are usually prescribed when hearing deteriorates to a degree when a person starts experiencing difficulty understanding normal speech.
Earliest Hearing Aids, purely acoustical, appeared in 17th century. First electric hearing aid was made in 1898. Transistor ones were introduced in 1952. Early hybrid analog-digital ones started selling in 1987. And finally, purely digital ones of a contemporary design were unveiled in 1995.
Equalizer. Equalization is the process of adjusting the balance between frequency components within an electronic signal. Variable equalization in audio reproduction was introduced in late 1920s. By early 1970s, analog audio equalizers were perfected. Digital audio equalizers have been widely used in professional gear and consumer electronics since mid-1990s.
The products for which we are developing our technology differ from Hearing Aids first and foremost by their target audience: people who are not yet experiencing difficulty understanding speech, yet already not enjoying music to the degree they once were. Lately, consumer electronics press started describing such products as Hearables.
Hearables universally include a digital audio Equalizer. Many Hearables also include equalization tuning protocols taken straight from the Hearing Aids. And why not? These protocols have been used with little modification for over 60 years, and their efficacy and safety have been thoroughly proven.
Yet, as documented in multiple peer-reviewed publications, including recent ones, applying Hearing Aids tuning protocols to music yields mixed results. A major underlying reason is that music is very different from speech, and thus fitting music to an individual hearing requires different tuning protocols and digital signal processing algorithms.
Future builds on the foundation of the past. We expect to continue further developing our audio personalization protocols and algorithms ensuring efficient and safe fitting of enjoyable music to unique individuals, steadily advancing from prototypes to commercially shipping products.
Hearables are not exempt from following the natural Technology Hype Cycle. As of late 2018, we believe the Hearables are just getting out from the Trough of Disillusionment, and onto the hard to climb yet yet most fruitful Slope of Enlightenment.
Similarly to the quick improvements of Hearing Aids being propelled by advances in Audiology and Digital Signal Processing between 1950 and 1970, Hearables are likely to be pushed forward by exciting breakthroughs in Neurophysiology and Machine Learning between 2000 and 2020.
First triggering event : Formerly music-loving and instrument-playing father of an Audio Fit founding member gradually losing interest in music between ages of 40 and 50.
Second triggering event : Same thing happening to the Audio Fit founding member once he turned 40, which spurred intense studying, research, and prototyping of remedies.
Third triggering event: Realization that this condition is widespread, affecting up to 97% of men at some point in their lives, and having far more serious consequences than just listening less to music.
People enjoying music just as throughly and often in their sixth decade of life as they did in their second.
In addition to utilizing established technologies proven over decades, we are developing novel ones, based on most recent advances in Acoustics, Neurophysiology, Machine Learning, and other scientific disciplines, as well as on original ideas developed over short yet fruitful period immediately preceding the founding of Audio Fit.
At least one of the Audio Fit members disclosed inventions in related areas to Apple Inc while he was working there as a Senior Architect.
The confidentiality of those disclosures has been strictly maintained.
Comprehensive measures were taken to exclude those patentable disclosures from Audio Fit intellectual property portfolio.
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