The audio from smartphones can be transmitted via a chest-worn Bluetooth wireless technology microphone clip direct to their hearing aid(s) over a range of up to 20 meters.
In operation, the end user simply connects their TV (e.g. via a SCART cable) or other CE device (e.g. desktop PCs, laptops, tablet computers, home cinema systems, radios) to a small audio streamer box equipped with a Nordic nRF24L01+ 2.4GHz transceiver. This then pairs with a second nRF24L01+ located in the ReSound Alera hearing aid.
When the user wishes to watch TV they simply push a button on the back of their hearing aid or use a (cost optional) remote control to select the device's designated wireless channel (typically between 1 and 3) to immediately stream wireless audio in stereo direct from the TV to their hearing aid. "It was extremely challenging to achieve this ease of end-user functionality, along with medical-grade [99.99%] field reliability and real-time audio performance in a hearing aid as small as [for the latest ReSound dot2 product] an adult finger nail weighing as much as a paper clip," admitted Thomas Olsgaard, VP of Hardware Platforms at GN ReSound.
The entire ReSound Alera product range is built around a uniquely miniature 2.0 cm (length) x 1.5 cm (height) x 0.6 cm (thick) product form factor that has to embed an even smaller 1.4 cm (length) x 0.6 cm (height) x 0.4 cm (thick) electronic module housing an antenna without groundplane (due to lack of space), Bluetooth wireless technology radio, a proprietary (Nordic nRF24L01+) 2.4 GHz radio, plus an external microcontroller to perform the advanced audio signal processing (background noise cancellation and 'surround' sound processing) required in a hearing aid product marketed as being so sensitive it allows hearing-impaired users to hear, for example, snow being crushed under their footsteps, birds signing, and even the sound of falling rain.
Olsgaard continues: "But all of this