Are smart textiles ready for the real world?

Advanced Textiles Source mentioned Wave Sciences' advances in consumer hearing in a recent article on smart textiles (link): 

“Our garment is a hands-free, discreet solution to hearing-in-noise—nobody knows you are wearing it. Currently, all of the electronics are removable for laundering the garment, but we are moving to the next step in our development where everything but a small, detachable module is washable,” he says. “It will feel like a common undergarment.”

“We can make hearing ten times better,” McElveen continues. “If someone needs to be within two and a half feet to easily have a conversation within a coffee shop, we let them hear their order being called out by the barista across the room, 25 feet away. That changes peoples’ daily lives.”

How a smart garment can solve the most troublesome issues with hearing aids

When hearing aid users are asked what issues they have with their hearing aids, they report the most troubles with:

  • Hearing in noisy places, such as coffee shops, restaurants, and airplanes
  • Wind noise
  • Squealing (from electronic feedback, particularly in noisy conditions)

Given reports that only 1 in 5 people who could benefit from a hearing aid actually uses one, it is important that these issues be addressed.

This is where smart garment technologies can help. Smart garments are showing up in hospitals and gyms where they are used to measure, record, and report one's heart rate, respiration, and other information.

Wave Sciences has pioneered applying smart garment technology to hearing. Imagine using a t-shirt, camisole, or other garment to "tailor" the sounds around you to fit your needs by "cutting out" the sounds you don't want to hear and "padding" the ones you do - and then automatically working with your hearing aid or ear bud to present your custom-tailored sounds.

Real hearing aid users that have tried our prototype devices said they were "amazing", "natural sounding", and "life changing". We are hard at work on consumer versions so that you can  experience how life changing hearing without issues can be.

Wave Sciences Announces Issuance of Smart Garment Wearable Hearing Patent

Wave Sciences announces the issuance of US Patent #US9,402,117, which relates to smart garment hearing assistance technology (HAT). This invention does not suffer from the limitations of current hearing-aid or remote-microphone HAT systems and will improve the utility of current hearing-aids and ear-buds by augmenting them, by being discrete and hands-free in its use, and providing greater directionality than can be achieved with devices worn-on or -in the ear alone. This invention is particularly applicable to consumer health, consumer electronics, outdoors, military, and safety applications.

Wave Sciences Nominated for Invention of the Year by the University of Maryland

The University of Maryland (USA) has nominated J. Keith McElveen, founder of Wave Sciences, along with co-inventors Dr. Christopher Davis and Dr. John Robertson Rzasa, both of the University of Maryland, for the Invention of the Year for their first true video camera with high dynamic range using only a single lens.

Wave Sciences Announces Issuance of Directional Audio Patent

Wave Sciences announces the issuance of US Patent #US9,143,879, which relates to directional audio systems, in particular, to the design, construction and processing of sequence-spaced and tiled directional audio systems. This invention offers superior performance in noisy indoor and outdoor environments and is applicable to military, safety, security, automotive, and consumer electronics applications.

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Wave Sciences Announces Issuance of Waveguide Directional Audio Patent

Wave Sciences announces the issuance of US Patent #US8,831,262, which relates to directional audio systems, in particular, microphone and loudspeaker arrays used as directional audio systems, as well as acoustic holography, underwater acoustics, and insonification fields. The invention provides extreme power savings along with highly directional audio regardless of whether you are receiving or transmitting sound. It is particularly applicable to automotive, military, and consumer electronics.

 

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