CES 2019: Oticon develops Kaizn, ‘world’s first AI assistant’ for hearing aids

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Danish company Oticon has developed what it claims is the world’s first personal AI assistant for hearing aids. Unveiled at CES 2019, the Oticon Kaizn will provide Oticon’s Opn 2.4GHz connected hearing aid users an innovative way to train their hearing aid to deliver them the best personalised sound experience.

With Kaizn, Oticon Opn hearing aid users will be able to take charge of how their hearing aid performs during their day to day routine. Utilising every day iOS devices, especially the Apple Watch, Oticon Kaizn communicates with users to determine their hearing intentions in different sound environments.

By also understanding the typical listening environments where users live, work and socialise, such as cafés or the office, Kaizn can continuously train to automatically implement informed, tailored changes to a user’s hearing aids settings, and ultimately improve a user’s hearing experience in every-day life.

For example, based on confirmed previous user intent, a hearing aid can anticipate a user’s regular Monday morning meeting and ensure their settings are ready for ‘focus’ or assume that a user would like their settings to provide them with ‘comfort’ when they take a relaxing afternoon tea break at a local café. Users are also provided with the flexibility to change adaptions made by the AI at any time.


“We appreciate that every hearing aid user is different and that their needs and preferences are changeable,” explains Michael Porsbo, Oticon Project Manager. “Only the user knows whether they want to hear the conversation at their table, or relax to the music playing in the background, which is why with Kaizn, we take a leap forward in human-driven hearing healthcare by using AI to optimise a more personal sound experience.”

“An Oticon hearing aid connected to Kaizn will persist in getting better and better over time, enabling continuous user optimisations to positively affect hearing health and ultimately overall well-being. Just as Spotify recommends new songs based on a user’s past selections, thanks to artificial intelligence, Kaizn™ keeps getting to know a hearing aid user and their preferences as it learns from the data it collects.”

Oticon is most famous for developing Opn, the world’s first Internet-connected hearing aid. This was recognised by the CES judging panel, winning Innovation Awards in 2017 and 2018. This year, Oticon Kaizn has also captured the attention of the CES Innovations Awards judges and was selected as an Honoree in two 2019 CES Innovation Awards categories.

 

Chris Price
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